Monday, August 29, 2011

UIS student Service-A-Thon benefits three local groups

Dozens of students from the University of Illinois Springfield spent their Friday afternoon volunteering with three local community groups as part of the annual Welcome Week Service-A-Thon.

“It’s important to get students involved at the beginning of the year, so they know the types of things they can do,” said Brittany Elder, AmeriCorps VISTA for the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

Students sorted medical supplies at Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, picked up trash along the Springfield Park District’s Wabash Trail and helped pick up and sort bricks at the site of the next Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County home.

“I feel like it’s a really good way to meet people and get involved in the community. Service is part of the reason I picked UIS,” said Brittany Sievers, a sophomore Psychology major.

Sievers realizes the benefits of volunteering, which include forming lasting relationships with fellow students and employers, which can lead to jobs and internships. Beyond that, she says volunteering just makes her feel good inside.

“(Volunteering) helps you understand that you’re not the only one affected by things and it forces you to get a larger view on life,” said Sievers.

Senior Political Science major Robert Dixon volunteered to help out at the Habitat for Humanity site. He spent most of the afternoon breaking up loose concrete in the front yard of where a new home will soon sit.

“It’s morally one of the right things to do to assist individuals, to help other individuals that may not be as fortunate,” said Dixon.

Sophomore Nathan Schmidt is part of a student organization on campus, which spends time volunteering.

“Kind of a nice chance of pace from being a Computer Science major and being behind a desk and at a computer all the time and it really feels good to give back a little bit,” said Schmidt.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at UIS, visit the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center website.

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