Friday, August 31, 2012

UIS students give back to Springfield through Service-A-Thon

Dozens of students from the University of Illinois Springfield ended their first week of the fall semester by giving back to the Springfield community.

The annual Welcome Week Service-A-Thon benefited three local organizations: Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County, Springfield School District 186’s AVID tutoring program, and Hospital Sister’s Mission Outreach.

“The idea is to get students involved in service right away, so it’s something they’re thinking about as they move forward in the semester and throughout the year,” said Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.

Students spent time helping Habitat for Humanity prepare a future home site located on North 5th Street in Springfield. The students moved a sign allowing construction trucks to access the property and cleaned up the site.

“It feels good, even though it’s something small,” said Jena Marlatt, a UIS freshman. “It’s something we can do so the work can get started and we do have the opportunity to come back later and help build the house.”

Volunteers also spent time working at Habitat’s ReStore, aiding teachers by preparing AVID tutoring materials at four schools, and sorting medical supplies for shipment worldwide at Hospital Sister’s Mission Outreach.

“I feel like if you’re a UIS student, if you’re in this community living here you should do all you can to improve your own community. Not only do you make it better for everyone else, but you also make it better for yourself,” said Timoteo Kelly, a UIS freshman.

Each of this year’s projects falls under one of the UIS Volunteer &Civic Engagement Center’s areas of priority (Habitat – hunger and homelessness, AVID – youth and education, and Mission Outreach – public health).

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