Students Seek to Serve in Legacy of Lowell Day


(Photo by Chris Samuels)

(Photo by Chris Samuels)
(Photo by Chris Samuels)

For the past eleven years, the U has been breaking down the wall between students and service in Salt Lake City.
Saturday, to kick off Homecoming Week, the Bennion Center put on the Legacy of Lowell volunteering event with five different areas of projects students, alumni, members of the community, staff and faculty at the U could participate in. The service event is held annually and each year gets bigger. This year was no exception.
The projects included choices in environmental stewardship, social justice, education and advocacy, international service, and health and ability projects. Caroline Biggs, a senior in mechanical engineering, said there wasn’t a dull moment in the service.
“It was really well organized,” she said. “There was stuff to do the entire time I volunteered.”
Health and ability projects featured events such as knitting for the homeless and a mobile food truck. Megan Shew, a freshman in health promotion and education, work with the Friends for Sight group.
“I like to volunteer,” she said. “[It] was cool because it’s in the health community and we learned a really key aspect for my degree too.”
The volunteers met at 8:30 a.m. at Glendale Middle School and from there could branch out to the different projects. To make transportation easy, buses left from the Peterson Heritage Center, and both breakfast and lunch were provided in exchange for the student’s day of service.
At the school, volunteers with the Utah Development Academy played soccer with kids. Drew Fuller, a senior in biology who is also a member of the academy, said they regularly offer free soccer clinics.
“This event seemed like a great place to serve and play,” Fuller said.
Lacy Holmes, organizer and director for the Legacy of Lowell event for the past three years, said it’s important to think of the service as part of Homecoming Week.
“When we think of coming home to the U, we cannot forget about coming home to the community,” she said. “We play a big part of the community and it’s a great way to start off the week in service.”
The U’s homecoming week began Sept. 19 and goes until Sept. 27, as students go to football games and participate in the many competitions the U is holding.
Holmes said Legacy of Lowell is more then just giving back to the Salt Lake community. She hopes each volunteer can find a place where he or she can fit in. Tess Bonham, a freshman in communication, fits that description.
“I think seeing that this many people in the community care to help gives me so much hope for the world,” Bonham said.
Holmes also hopes students meet new friends while serving the community.
“Service can be intimidating and with this particular event, you can try a new type of service and meet new people,” she said. “My favorite thing about this event each year is watching the friendships that form.”
Maggie Livrei, a softball coach at the U, said she likes seeing college students out early in the morning giving their time to a good cause. Livrei said her team will continue to be a part of the events for years to come.
Laura Alley, a junior in civil engineering, helped with a landscaping service project. She was joined by her friends in the Society of Women Engineers.
“We really like to be involved with the community,” she said.
Annie Record, a freshman in biology, said her roommates convinced her to participate in the Legacy of Lowell event.
“We all came out together to get closer to each other,” Record said. “I really like to volunteer to and see the difference we can make.”
But Steffi Lietzke, unlike Record, is no newbie to the day of volunteering. Lietzke, a senior in mechanical engineering, has participated in the event several times before.
“I like trying new service projects and I try a new one each year,” she said.
This year Lietzke took part in the landscaping project.
In 2013, the Legacy of Lowell event volunteers sorted more than 8,000 pounds of food, assembled 1,360 hygiene kits, built a tunnel greenhouse, weeded over 500 square feet, made 11 quilts for refugees and swept two acres of trash. There were over 750 volunteers, which added up to more than 2,100 hours of service collectively. Bennion Center employees hope they surpassed those numbers this year, but have yet to add up the totals.
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