Students from The U contribute to National Volunteer Week

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota’s Center for Academic Engagement (CAE), in collaboration with the National Volunteer Week (NVW) student executive board, spent more than 120 hours during the week of April 19-24 organizing activities for dozens of student volunteers who helped raised money for local organizations and various other community service activities.

National Volunteer Week featured 68 volunteers who contributed more than 129 hours of community service to several projects, including packaging and delivering meals to K-12 students, organizing and cleaning at Sharing the Dream in Guatemala (STDG), a bake sale to raise money for an organization dedicated to fighting childhood hunger and hosting a supply drive for four USD women who lost everything in a recent fire. Students also made crafts for the Vermillion Senior Center.

“It’s important to serve because it allows community members and students to work together to make the community a stronger place to live, work and grow,” explained Alexa Walker, a USD student and NVW Executive Board member from Vermillion, S.D.

Founded in 1974, NVW has grown each year with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week according to the HandsOn Network. NVW at USD was funded in part by a $2,500 grant from the North Carolina Campus Compact and in-kind donations from Jones’ Food Center and Hy-Vee. In addition to the service projects, CAE also hosted a brown bag luncheon on volunteer management and a service-learning reception for community members, students, staff and faculty.

In addition to Walker, additional USD students serving on the NVW executive board included Laurel Rub of Norfolk, Neb., Teresa Mallett of Watertown, S.D., Thomas Emanuel of Deadwood, S.D., Hillarie Maddox of Rapid City, S.D., Brooke Stones of Sutton, Neb., Andrew Schmitz of Petersburg, Neb., Maggie Graham of Mitchell, S.D., and Alexandra Ortiz of Storm Lake, Iowa. AmeriCorps VISTA’s Donielle Gustafson of Pierre, S.D., and Brittany VanHove of Marion, S.D., also participated in NVW executive board activities.