Students Embrace Day of Service

Jan 28, 2020

The spirit of volunteerism impacts students who attended the event in the Performance Center. Their work will benefit local community organizations.

  • - Cynthia Obiekezie works on designing socks for residents of The Residence at Hilltop.

  • - Freshman Cassandra Raley makes stress balls for Special Olympics.

With the busy spring semester in its second week, Cal U graduating senior Cynthia Obiekezie found time to help others. 

Obiekezie, president of the Black Student Union, was one of nearly 80 Cal U students who participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 28 in the Performance Center. 

“We have to do our part to honor his legacy, because without Dr. King’s legacy, I would not have the opportunity to even be here,” said Obiekezie, who was born in Nigeria.  

A hospital patient care attendant, Obiekezie was enthusiastically designing sock grips, which will be given to residents of The Residence at Hilltop, an assisted living facility in Monongahela, Pa. 

“I sit with a lot of elderly patients who are all fall risks,” Obiekezie said. “They need support, and these grips are important because a slip-and-fall injuries can be fatal. I certainly have a connection to this activity.” 

Nicholas Morrison, a senior communication disorders major and member of Alpha Kappa Lambda, made good use of his time in between classes. 

“During the common hour most people are just at lunch, and I think a good job was done in letting the students know about this,” he said. “I definitely wanted to help today and it’s important for people to come out for these kind of things.” 

Sophomore Savannah Dorsey, a criminal justice major, attended her first Day of Service before heading to class.  

“Just giving back not only does good for others but also yourself and makes you appreciate things more,” said Dorsey, BSU treasurer. “We try to help out as much as we can.” 

The Day of Service was coordinated by the Center for Volunteer Programs and Service Learning and graduate assistant Amanda Andrews. 

Overall, 20 different activities took place for 15 nonprofit organizations, including City Mission in Washington, Pa., the Washington Area Humane Society, Beverly’s Birthdays, the Painted Turtle Camp, Special Olympics, and Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

Gamma Sigma Sigma, AVI Foodsystems, Cal ROCKS (Reaching Out for Catholic Kinship), Delta Zeta, Alpha Sigma Tau were among the organization that donated supplies. 

“It was a team effort, and the generosity and participation were sincere and appreciated,” Andrews said. “Cal U students continue to show a passion for volunteering and wanting to help others.” 

Sheleta Camarda-Webb, director of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education, said the Day of Service was an ideal way to not only lead into Cal U’s Black History Month celebration but also to emphasize the importance of volunteering. 

“Service learning is an integral part of education,” she said. “This is a way for Dr. King and the Black History Month legacy to live year-round through our students and our entire campus.”