Friday, 2 September 2016
Service: A Full Day of It
The annual Day of Service (which is planned by Residence Services) sees more than a thousand first and second year U of A students take to the city with the intention doing good and lending a helping hand for a couple of hours. Events like this take place throughout the year, with groups of students visiting local non-profit organizations, community leagues, and City of Edmonton parks for a few hours to participate in a service learning activity, and provide some valuable volunteer support.
Day of Service events foster a connection to the community that just can’t be achieved from normal life on campus or through a lecture. The program developed from the need to provide a planned opportunity for residents to experience a different side of Edmonton than what they will see in their day-to-day lives as students. The Day of Service also opens the door for learning and creating connections between students and local organizations and neighbourhoods, a partnership that benefits everyone. As the majority of students living on campus are not local residents of the city of Edmonton, a Day of Service can lead to a sense of civic responsibility and belonging in their new environment. Additionally, service learning is a great a great way for students to continue to build community, relieve stress, and create connections throughout the school year.
Volunteering has a real impact. You may feel like one day of helping won’t make a difference, but it’s important to remember that these organizations and community leagues depend largely on volunteer support, so by spending a day at the Mustard Seed, Edmonton Food Bank, Capital City Cleanup, or one of the many other worthy organizations in Edmonton, you are becoming a cog in the wheel of volunteers that makes the operation of these organizations possible.
When midterms start hitting and we feel the weight of work and stress overwhelming us, we often need to take a step back and recognize how fortunate we are to be students and residents at the University of Alberta. What better way to show our appreciation than to give back to the community that surrounds us?
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