The Campus Ministry Office of Community Engagement participated in the National Holy Cross Day of Service on March 29 as part of the SERVE 1-Day series of service projects. This project provided an opportunity for Holy Cross schools around the nation to unite under the common theme of service and live out the Holy Cross Mission that these institutions were founded on.
For this project, Campus Ministry took students to the Dove Springs/Onion Creek neighborhood and to the Wild Basin Nature Preserve for beautification, clean-up and invasive species removal projects. Although Campus Ministry was hoping to have 300 students register for this event, only approximately 120 registered, and among those 75 attended, according to George Kuhle, a SERVE 1-Day Coordinator.
Despite the 63 percent turnout rate, participants still pulled together to get work done.
“Attendance was decent, but I’m pretty sure half the people who registered didn’t show,” Participant Michael Haywood said. “We had enough people there between site leaders and attendees to get a lot of work done, though.”
Haywood volunteered at Onion Creek to pick up debris and beer cans in an area that was devastated by floods last year.
“It was really cool at the end to see the giant pile of trash we had picked up over the last several hours,” Haywood said. “If a relatively small group of students could make that much of a difference in one morning, just imagine how much more is possible.”
Junior Chloe Crumley also volunteered at Onion Creek, and found the experience bneficial despite the low turnout of volunteers.
“It was rewarding to see the whole group really working hard to pick up as much trash and waste in an area that was once a lovely neighborhood but now abandoned because of the floods,” Crumley said. “Walking away with 12 trash bags full and a partially cleaned area made me feel like we made a difference in the community.”
Crumley, like many other students who participate in SERVE 1-Day events, is dedicated to serving her community with the university.
“This is my third time attending SERVE 1-Day,” she said. “I truly love the Holy Cross tradition of service and getting the chance to live that out each year by attending this service project with other St. Ed’s students.”
The next service opportunity for students is The Big Event on April 12. This year, the Big Event will be a collaboration between the Student Government Association and Campus Ministry.
Students will have the opportunity to help community members around the St. Edward’s area or participate in Reach Out, a homeless resource fair hosted at St. Ignatius and founded by St. Edward’s students.
Registration is now open on Collegiate Link.