GV organizations participate in Five Days of Service


GVL / Sydney Lim

Melia Williams, Staff Writer

With the help of over 20 community service organizations from both Grand Valley State University and surrounding communities, the Office of Student Life hosted its first “Five Days of Service” event from March 20-24. Each day was focused on its own theme. 

“We wanted to produce an event that was accessible service,” said Bri Slager, assistant director of Student Life. 

This week-long event gave students the opportunity to find out about and potentially join various organizations on campus. 

“(It) provides an opportunity for students to learn about all the organizations that we partner with, as well as highlight all the student organizations that do a lot of really cool things,” said Philip Brzezinski, grad assistant for Civic Engagement. 

The first theme of the week was “Nurturing Nature,” where service projects were built around the idea of sustainability or outdoor projects in general. A GVSU student organization called Helping Hands took on a special event that evening. 

Helping Hands is a community service organization that works within Allendale and Grand Rapids communities through various volunteer opportunities. In addition to community service, the organization aims to form connections between its members. 

“It’s a nice thing to get out and do something nice, something relaxing like coloring is a great option,” said Morgan Taulbee, president of Helping Hands. “I think getting involved is something that, especially as a freshman, I was really scared to do but it’s really helped me balance school with fun.” 

Helping Hands had a variety of options for service throughout the week such as decorating sack lunch bags for Kid’s Food Basket or making cards for Cards for Hope, which encourage kids in foster care.

The week continued with Tuesday’s theme, “Enhancing Education,” Wednesday being centered around “Feeding Friends,” Thursday having a focus of “Cultivating Community” and Friday finishing off the week with “Pick your Passion.”

“Thursday was our largest turnout,” Slager said. “We had a lot of community partners for that one and students got the opportunity to work with organizations that help people directly, such as Family Futures and Campus Cleanup Crew.” 

The Office of Student Life wanted to use this event in order to show students how accessible community service is in the Allendale and Grand Rapids areas and showcase the multiple organizations at the university. 

“On other days of service, primarily students go to one and they don’t get to go and see all of them, so this is an opportunity where they can see a variety and see what they’re passionate for,” Slager said. 

These five days of service were also used as a recruiting tool for many organizations. Representatives of the Office of Student Life were excited about the turnout of this week’s events and it looking forward to host it again in the future. 

“It’s another way to get to know some of the organizations and their members for students that are looking for organizations to join,” Brzezinski said.