Bennion Center Service Day Offers Students Chance to Get into Service

Eight homes improved, 20 people tutored, 70 large bags of weeds pulled and 936 food boxes assembled. It is surprising what 800 volunteers can do in a couple hours.

These are some of the accomplishments from the Legacy of Lowell Community Service Day last year, and the Bennion Center is hoping to accomplish even more this time, said Bryce Williams, student programs coordinator at the center.

This Saturday’s service activity will offer the largest amount of projects since its start 12 years ago. The 26 projects range from environmental issues to health and ability, and students will spend about three hours in their chosen area.

In previous years, the day of service was a kick-off to Homecoming Week, and royalty were announced at the event. That will not be the case this year because of conflicting dates, but the day of service will most likely be involved with homecoming in the future. Williams does not foresee this affecting attendance, which is generally between 750 and 1,000 people.

Mary Carambelas Bush, a senior in anthropology, has participated in this day of service for the past three years. As multi-media specialist for the Bennion Center, she visits the various service projects, allowing her to see the overall impact. Last year, volunteers completed 2,060 total hours of service.

This activity marks the start of the Saturday service projects the center hosts throughout the year, and Carambelas Bush thinks the day is a good way for students to test the waters at the center in a non-committal way.

“If you like what we do at the Bennion Center, you can definitely continue on,” she said. “If not, you can keep coming to these little one-time events.”

One of the continuing projects this year is to organize donations and do a fall clean-up at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Yen Nguyen, volunteer and in-kind donations coordinator, said the service that students do makes a big difference for the group.

“Around this time of year we can get bombarded with donations,” she said. “They are useless if they are sitting in a closet. To get 30 people to organize it in two to three hours, that’s helping me with an entire week’s worth.”

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