Students, staff lend helping hands across city
Students and employees cleaned up beaches, set up fresh markets and served meals Saturday during the UIC Day of Service.
More than 200 people helped out at 24 sites throughout the city, said Olivia Desormeaux, graduate assistant for community service in Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services.
“It was really exciting and fun to talk to students at the sites and see that they not only saw a purpose in what they were doing but that they were also having fun helping others,” she said.
Berenice Jimenez led a group of volunteers at the Latino Union of Chicago’s Albany Park Workers’ Center. She and her team helped the organization keep up with its data entry and mailed more than 500 letters to donors.
“I signed up because I wanted to help an organization and be a representative as a UIC student,” said Jimenez, a senior in sociology.
She plans to volunteer more often in her community.
“This experience meant a lot to me in making me be more involved and make a difference,” she said.
Josephina Frankovich led a group of 10 volunteers at the On the Road to Literacy conference co-hosted by the UIC Center for Literacy and Literacy Volunteers of Illinois on campus in the Education, Theatre, Music and Social Work Building. They set up the conference, greeted guests and directed them to parking and rooms in the building.
“Probably the biggest project was setting up lunch,” said Frankovich, a graduate student in social work and public health. “We had 200 participants standing in a hallway and we needed to keep them standing in an organized fashion and ensure that everyone got their food.”
She was excited to learn more about UIC’s literacy center and meet conference guests.
“I got to take a picture with Gov. Bruce Rauner, who was at the conference, and meet a broad group of participants — ESL teachers, people getting their GEDs,” she said. “It was interesting to see how they all interacted with each other.”
Jamel Russell, president of Minority Students for the Advancement of Public Health, cleaned up North Avenue Beach with other members of her student group.
“Part of being in public health is also being aware of the environment and keeping it clean to have safe places for people to enjoy themselves,” said Russell, a senior in public health.
Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services hosts at least one volunteer event each month. The next activity: helping May 2 at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Sign up to receive information about volunteer opportunities by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org