Hillsdale College’s GOAL Program and Omicron Delta Kappa, the campus leadership honorary, are teaming up to hold the college’s first-ever Day of Service on April 6. The event is a campus-wide effort in which students from all sectors of campus are encouraged to come together to give back to the community through a variety of projects.
“This is the first time we’ve done a community event of this scale,” said Lucile Townley, GOAL volunteer services director and ODK member.
Last year, GOAL hosted a meal-packing event that sent almost 21,000 meals to Haiti. This time, however, the organization wanted its philanthropic project to have a more local focus.
“While that event was amazing, and I loved how it brought campus together, I felt a little weird about it because we have so much need in our own community, and all that amazing effort went overseas,” Townley said. “The idea is to alternate between international and local projects.”
The project has been in the works since October when ODK member and GOAL program leader Rosemary Pynes was inspired by a similar service event at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where several of her friends attend. She said she hopes the Day of Service will provide an opportunity for students to give back to the town of Hillsdale and feel connected to it.
“It’s a community we can actually invest in,” Pynes said, “not just a place to live for four years.”
Townley said the object of Day of Service is twofold: meet physical needs through service projects, and build a relationship with the greater Hillsdale community. So far, 17 teams from nearly every dorm, Greek house, and student group, have signed up to serve on campus. Projects range from cleaning up Baw Beese Trail to visiting with nursing home residents.
“This effort is huge,” said ODK President Ross Hatley. “Practically every organization on campus is in some way involved in the planning, recruitment, or execution of this event. It’s really incredible to see all of campus coming together to serve.”
Members of GOAL and ODK will be sitting at a table in the union all week, and Hatley hopes students will sign up with the team they most identify with — or get a group of friends together and create their own.
“This is a very broad-based endeavor, and there is room and a need for people to come out,” he said. “This isn’t just a normal volunteer event. This is something extraordinary.”