Various campus groups recently teamed up to host the Cesar Chavez Day of Service on Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6.
The groups included the Center for Community Engagement, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Life, Community Engagement Council and the Office of International and Advanced Studies.
The Community Engagement Council, comprised of students from service-based RSOs, reached out to several local organizations in need of help.
“We always try to serve with a diverse group of partners who are affecting different issues that the community is facing,” said Riley Hupfer, the assistant director of the Center for Community Engagement.
Students who volunteered for Saturday’s service day worked at the Underground Railroad’s resale shop, helped with Mustard Seed’s new building and assisted at Habitat for Humanity.
Hupfer noted that SVSU has partnered with these organizations before.
“(Mustard Seed’s) new building was funded in part by SVSU’s
Battle of the Valleys fundraiser in 2017,” he said.
Roberto Garcia, the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, hoped that students would take the opportunity to serve their community and learn about Cesar Chavez’s legacy.
“I hope they understand the importance of volunteering,” Garcia said. “It’s important to know how to get involved.”
Kathy Perez, a student coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, expressed similar hopes for student volunteers. She also mentioned that the service day was intended to be a follow-up for the MLK Day service projects.
“We wanted another big service day when the weather was nicer,” said Ashely Frank, a member of the Community Engagement Council. “We wanted this to be bigger because a lot of people are passionate about service but don’t know where to serve or what to do.”
Nearly 40 volunteers attended presentations and team-building exercises Friday night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The presentations sought to teach students about Chavez and his many contributions.
Saturday was then spent engaging in service projects around the Saginaw and Bay City area from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The service day ended with dinner and time for students to reflect on the impact of their work. “My hope is always for students to learn about our community and the importance of active citizenship through service,” Hupfer said. “As we are also celebrating Cesar Chavez and his legacy, we look forward to an opportunity to learn about an iconic civil rights activist.”
“My hope is always for students to learn about our community and the importance of active citizenship through service,” Hupfer said. “As we are also celebrating Cesar Chavez and his legacy, we look forward to an opportunity to learn about an iconic civil rights activist.”