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April 27, 2012

Dakota Wesleyan’s Service Day to the community set for Tuesday

DWU students help clean the Mitchell Recreational Center last year during Service Day. This year’s Service Day is scheduled for May 1 and DWU students, staff and faculty will once again take on community projects throughout Mitchell.

MITCHELL — Dakota Wesleyan University will reach out to the community once again next week as students, staff and faculty team up and spread out all over town during the university’s third annual Service Day.

More than 450 students, staff and faculty have signed up to do service projects throughout Mitchell Tuesday, May 1. They will depart in groups at 9:30 a.m. and work until about noon.

DWU junior Christen Hildebrandt, of Faribault, Minn., will serve as Student Senate President next year and has participated in Service Day the past two years.

“It’s important for a college to reach out to its community because the community is what has built it into what it is today,” Hildebrandt said. “Mitchell will help shape the college’s future so DWU can continue to have the remarkable ability to shape students’ lives for the better.”

Service Day is not only a way to thank the community, but is also one more avenue to help create service-minded students.

“Some individuals may have had limited volunteering before now, because they have not been asked and given that opportunity,” said Pam Boline, associate professor of human services. “Volunteering provides connections, a sense of ownership for our community, and can foster better citizenship overall.” 

DWU students, many of whom are Human Services Club members are majoring in human services, volunteered to help organize the garage at the Mitchell Area Safehouse last year during DWU’s Service Day.

“Once you start doing service projects you realize how simple and easy they are and they make you more aware of the need,” said DWU junior Sarah Owens, of Omaha, Neb. “Personal experience with volunteering has brought awareness of the issues in the community and the world, as well as helping me prepare for my future career in human services.”

The project sites this year include: Abbott House, Mitchell Main Street, Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts, First United Methodist Church, Carnegie Resource Center, Mitchell schools – including L.B. Williams, Longfellow, Gertie Belle Rogers, Mitchell Middle and Mitchell High School, Dakota Discovery Museum, Cadwell Dog Park, Mitchell Area Safehouse, Pepsi Soccer Complex, Dry Run Creek, and all around Lake Mitchell.

Students in the Arlene Gates Department of Nursing will also split up into teams and work at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Wesley Acres and Avera Brady Health and Rehab, as well as a few students working on campus in the nursing department.

Other students will split up and do work on campus in the Hughes Science Hall and McGovern Library, and they’ll do some landscaping and trash pick-up.

Nursing students in Huron, along with faculty and staff, also provided a service with spring clean-up on the Huron Community Campus on April 23.

Following the community projects, everyone will reconvene in the cafeteria for an indoor picnic. The Tuesday before graduation is traditionally known as “Reading Day,” and is used as a study day for finals. In 2010 the university celebrated its 125th anniversary by creating “Service Day,” in part as a thank you to the community that has supported the college for more than a century, and also in testament to the college’s motto: sacrifice or service.

“It’s a rewarding change of pace at the end of the semester, instead of stressing about my finals, (we’re working) to make something better in the community,” Hildebrandt added.


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Last updated: 4/27/12