OSI, LVC team up for OU Day of Service

The Office for Student Involvement (OSI) and the Leadership and Volunteer Center (LVC) hosted OU Day of Service on Nov. 16 in the Banquet Rooms of the Oakland Center. OU Day of Service is an annual drop-in volunteering event that allows students to work on a variety of service projects to benefit the local community.

At the event, several tables held detailed instructions for students to follow and supplies to utilize for each project. Some of the activities included writing thank you cards for the American Red Cross, creating friendship bracelets and designing onesies for families in need.

Student organizations, classes and club sports teams that participated in OU Day of Service each had an opportunity to sponsor a table. These groups brought their own supplies for a project to benefit the charitable organization of their choosing.

Event organizers encouraged attendees to donate nonperishable food at the event. These donations were to be sent to the Golden Grizzlies Food Pantry, benefiting students who are struggling with food insecurity.

“There was a steady flow of students coming in throughout the day,” Daryl Blackburn, coordinator of leadership and service programs at the OSI, said. “We are so pleased with the turnout at OU Day of Service.”

The Student Program Board (SPB) also made an appearance at the event, providing attendees with “comfort food” during lunchtime. SPB staff members dished out free plates of turkey, mashed potatoes and corn to hardworking volunteers. 

OU’s Running Club canceled their practice for the day to engage in community service at the event. The group worked on coloring pages, which will be hung in a children’s hospital throughout the holiday season.

“I liked working on the coloring pages project because it was very relaxing and fun,” sophomore Nicholas Skinner said. “It feels great to give back to the community while having fun with my friends.”

Several other groups attended the event, including Honors College 1000 (HC1000) classes and various student organizations. Since club sport teams, Honors College students and some majors are required to meet certain volunteer requirements, OU Day of Service proved to be a convenient option due to its drop-in aspect.

“OU Day of Service is an annual event that prioritizes the value of service amongst the student body,” Blackburn said. “The day is fun for students and the projects are simple, yet the volunteer efforts create huge, lasting impacts on the local community as a whole.”

Besides OU Day of Service, the OSI hosts a variety of on-campus service opportunities for students. They will conclude the semester by inviting students to serve at commencement for graduates in November, and donating winter clothing for children in need through their Mitten Tree project in December.

For students looking to volunteer off-campus, they may apply for Alternative Spring Breaks, a program that allows students to provide service to charitable organizations across the country.