The students assisted in various volunteer projects with the Ronald McDonald House, which provides a “home-away-from-home” for families of children (ages 21 and younger) receiving medical care in Siouxland. The Goodwill Shoe & Mitten Party, sponsored by Goodwill of the Great Plains, provides children in need with the opportunity to pick out new shoes, mittens and socks.

Through the Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning (AWOL) program, USD students learned about issues of poverty in the Siouxland area. AWOL designs Alternative Weekend experiences to provide students with short-term service-learning opportunities that focus on important local and regional issues. Each month a different Alternative Weekend takes place, providing an outlet for students to explore social issues relevant to the region and build a closer connection with the local community. Like other AWOL events, Alternative Weekends are entirely student-led. Students participating were Josie Flatgard of Arlington, S.D.; Shane Hansen of Hot Springs, S.D.; Emily Chapa of Ellsworth, Minn.; Gretchen McLaughlin of Tea, S.D.; and the site leaders for the event were Mariah Larson of Vermillion, S.D.; and Allison Reuland of White Lake, S.D.

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