VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students from The University of South Dakota’s Center for Academic Engagement recently volunteered their time at the Sioux Falls Volunteers of America (VOA) Thrift Store. Students spent a day organizing the thrift store warehouse and learned about the many different programs that VOA supports in the Sioux Falls area, including programs related to the thrift store, which is open for VOA clients and the public. Other tasks included separating bags of donated items and moving those items one step closer to the thrift store shelves making them available to persons in need. Students also helped organize the VOA’s scholastic program organizing books onto shelves and freeing up much needed space in the warehouse.
"I didn't realize how many programs VOA had," said Kelly Brandner, a junior psychology major from Groton, S.D. "It's great to see that they are making a difference and helping people get their GED's and finding jobs."
Students involved in the VOA Thrift Store project included: Travis Dilling and Emily Maas of Vermillion, Brandyn Vetos of North Sioux City, S.D., Angela O’Loughlin of Broomfield, Colo., and Justin Kreber of Jefferson, S.D.
"This trip offered students a better understanding of the ways that non-profits work in multiple capacities to provide services to the clients they serve, by looking at the programs from a different perspective students are able to see the many different ways a program like a thrift store can work as social support," added Courtny Nesheim, AmeriCorps VISTA, with the Center for Academic Engagement at USD.
More information about CAE as well as photos from this student service-learning project can be found online at: www.usd.edu/engage/events/voa.cfm.