Service Day gives students a chance to give back

Service Day returns to campus on Saturday, Sept. 29, to once again give CLU students the chance to give back to their campus and the surrounding community.

The Community Service Center organizes Service Day every year near the end of September, filling the campus and the rest of Ventura County with multiple service projects that involve cleaning up litter, building patios, painting houses and doing yard work.

According to Karen Schomaker, coordinator of the Community Service Center, there are a total of 14 projects to choose from this year, three of which are on campus.

Most events run from about 9 a.m. to noon, but each event varies slightly.

The Community Service Center partners with many organizations to create the service projects.

The beach beautification project, for example, is a partnership with Friends of Channel Coast State Parks, an organization that funds educational programs at state beaches in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Service Day as a whole is in partnership with United Way Day of Caring, according to Schomaker. United Way Day of Caring is also sponsoring events at Service Day.

During the community garden and clean-up, students will plant trees and help construct the frame for a new community garden.

Students will be able to help create housing for homeless during the build a u-dome homeless village event.

Sophomore Steve Santos is one of the interns at the Community Service Center office. To Santos, Service Day is about connecting with your community and “getting people into areas that they wouldn’t necessarily know about.”

Campus organizations, such as Lord of Life, are getting in on the Service Day action this year.

According to Rebekah Peterson, a junior at California Lutheran University and Lord of Life council-member, the volunteers at this event will be laying down the sand to create the pathways of the new Meditation Labyrinth behind the chapel.

A labyrinth, Peterson says, is similar to a maze because you go in through one end and come out the other, but it is not designed to get you lost.

“[The labyrinth] can be used for meditation.  People can walk through while meditating on a verse or stay in the middle of the garden, where they can just sit and talk to God,” said Peterson. “One benefit of doing a service project is to receive funding from ASCLUG,” said Peterson.  “Each club has to do a service project where at least half of its members participate.”

However, for Lord of Life and other clubs, community service is an important part of the group’s mission.

“Service is a way for a student to remember that even in this ‘campus bubble,’ there are needs around us,” said Peterson. “[Service] is a way to give back because we have been gifted already.”

According to Schomaker, there are 280 volunteer positions open to all students.

Sign-ups close on Sept. 26. To sign up to volunteer on Service Day, or receive specific information on each project, visit the Community Service Center website at www.callutheran.edu/csc.

 

Kaitlyn Guilbeaux
Staff Writer
Published Sept. 26, 2012