125,000 service hours to commemorate 125 years
Time is one of the most valued gifts a person can give and receive.
This year, as part of Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 125th anniversary celebration, students, faculty, staff and alumni hope to complete 125,000 volunteer hours during the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Becky Boyle Jones, assistant director of Student Activities and Greek Life, believes MSUM can easily accomplish that goal.
“MSUM is all about community,” she said. “Our students, faculty and staff are very good at giving back; it’s part of the MSUM culture.”
As of Oct. 21, students logged more than 2,300 service hours. Jones is thrilled with that number. Thousands of hours are yet to go, but those involved behind the scenes are confident that students, faculty, staff and alumni will meet the goal.
“So many people already do wonderful service in the community that it’s just a matter of logging what they’re already doing,” Jones said.
With approximately 9,000 students and faculty members at MSUM, plus another 40,000 alumni in the region, the 125,000-hour service goal could be easily reached if each person connected with MSUM volunteered only two and a half hours of their time throughout the year.
MSUM’s Office of Student Activities has been promoting the yearlong event via social media. Many student organizations, such as Students Today Leaders Forever and Habitat for Humanity, encourage students to make a difference in the world through volunteer service.
Sophomore Morgan Smith is actively involved with MSUM’s Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) chapter, and works with other students to plan service projects such as blood drives or decorating bras for Bras on Broadway.
“Volunteering is something to get involved with,” Smith said. “It helps you be more than just a student at school. I’ve never thought of volunteering as boring. You can always find something that sparks your interest.”
Smith was inspired by Coach Herman Boone’s speech during MSUM’s homecoming. The coach, who is well known from Denzel Washington’s portrayal of him in Disney’s “Remember the Titans,” spoke of volunteering as a necessary part of life.
“A leader is an agent of change,” Boone said.
“If you want to change something, if you see a problem in your community, you have to stand up and say something about it,” Smith said. “That’s what it takes to be a leader. You can’t just sit back and watch it happen, otherwise you’ll miss your chance.”
Jones expects a large jump in hours over spring vacation as hundreds of students in the area spend their spring breaks volunteering across the country.
“There’s an intrinsic reward of knowing you’ve impacted someone else’s life in a positive way,” Jones said.
The MSUM community can contribute to the 125,000-hour goal in many ways: carol for a cause, rake leaves, donate blood, tutor children or walk dogs at a shelter.
Jones said the holiday season is the perfect time for people to log their volunteer hours since many donate their time anyway. Bell ringing for the Salvation Army, serving church suppers and shopping for people on a giving tree are just a few activities that count toward MSUM’s service goal. Any time contributed without pay is a volunteer hour.
“Anyone connected with the campus can participate,” Jones said. “Why wouldn’t you want to?”
MSUM students, faculty, staff and alumni can log their hours at www.mnstate.edu/osa-volunteer-hours.aspx.