Student Leaders Give Back
This past Sunday, more than 180 Michigan Tech student leaders volunteered at 15 service site locations in the Keweenaw in an effort to give back to the local community.
Rachel Jones, area coordinator in housing and residential life and Ryan Bennett, assistant director of orientation programs, organized a service day for orientation team leaders, resident assistants and housing student desk staff.
The thought was to have student leaders work together to accomplish a common goal while at the same time giving back to the community. They also hoped the initiative will spur community service throughout the academic year.
Non-profit organizations were contacted regarding service projects for this new volunteer effort and were ecstatic. The organizations find there are projects that cannot be completed during the annual Make A Difference Day because of weather. This was the perfect opportunity for such projects utilizing a large number of volunteers.
Student leaders volunteered with the Department of Natural Resources and Swedetown Trails to clear brush and trash off trails, community leaders in Houghton and Hancock to beautify parks, Little Brothers Friends of the Ederly to chop firewood, 31 backpacks to provide food to children in need, sorted food in the Salvation Army's food pantry and collected donations for Michigan Tech's HuskyFAN food pantry.
The students had a lot to say about their experience.
Melanie Thomas, helped remove knotweed. She said, "Service is important because it teaches us respect and to give back to our community. It gives us new perspectives and helps us to build character based on those experiences."
A group of student leaders who collected donations for the HuskyFan food pantry noted service is important for many of the same reasons they sought their current jobs—a passion for helping others."
Some were recognized for their service. One group was clearing ORV trails when a family stopped by to thank them for their hard work.
Michigan Tech Student Activities is thankful for the amazing student leaders who give their time to make this community a better place for all of us. A huge thank you to all the student leaders and organizers for what we hope will become an annual volunteer service day.