Volunteering for Change

This past Martin Luther King Jr. Day NDSU students came out to support their community

On Monday Jan. 21, while most students were sleeping in or working on their schoolwork, many North Dakota State students spent their time helping the community. The NDSU Volunteering Network held a Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day, which gave students the opportunity to volunteer at their choice of local nonprofit organizations around the Fargo-Moorhead community. Students signed up for as many two-hour shifts as they wanted, letting everyone get the chance to help out in the community.

These local nonprofit organizations were: the Red River Zoo, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Arc Attic, Firstlink, the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, A Place for Hope, Bethany Retirement Living, Bonanzaville, Churches United for the Homeless, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, the Emergency Food Pantry and TNT Kids Fitness and Gymnastics. For those who didn’t have transportation, the River Keepers and Project Linus were held in the Memorial Union.

I love to volunteer because you get to meet new people and you know that you are making an impact in your community.

Emily Swanson, NDSU student

Among the volunteers were some sorority and fraternity members, one of which was Kendra Hassan, who is part of Alpha Gamma Delta and volunteered for River Keepers. The group made totes out of old T-shirts. She chose this organization over the others to volunteer for because she felt “like the River Keepers is an organization that will have an impact on the future. By volunteering, I feel like I am a part of this ongoing organization,” Hassan said.

River Keepers is an organization that sheds light on the importance of the Red River by hosting activities that explain how to maintain and safely enjoy the river.

Another organization that was located in the Memorial Union was Project Linus. This is a nonprofit that provides blankets for children in need. The blankets are handmade by volunteers and then delivered to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies or in any situation in which they need some security.

A group who was volunteering for this organization had plenty of insight on why they chose Project Linus. “Not only is it fun to make blankets, but it’s also a great way to give back to the community without having to give money,” Erin Lemanski, Emily Swanson, Katelyn Kennedy and Kaylee Pierce stated, as they were busy working. “I love to volunteer because you get to meet new people and you know that you are making an impact in your community.” Though Swanson had volunteered for Project Linus before, the other three quickly got the hang of making blankets and said they would do it again.

There were a lot of people who decided to give back to the community. Whether it was to get volunteer hours for a specific organization or a new way to make new friends, everyone was there knowing that their work would help others in need.

Students interested in volunteering in the future can check with the NDSU Volunteer Network for upcoming events.

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