Gain friendships with classmates, kids during March community service events

Melissa Fose

Melissa Fose

SDSU students will enhance their connections this March, starting with the University Program Council’s community service events.

UPC Community Service Coordinator Stephanie Cooper organized numerous events for March’s theme, Connecting with Kids. Opportunities for students include Operation Backpack and Harvest Table.

“Community service is important because it allows us to give back. A simple act of service can put a smile on someone’s face and just make their day,” said Megan Pavlow, an SDSU freshman who participates in UPC events.

Operation Backpack is a collaborative event for UPC and Women’s Coalition. School supplies will be collected for families in need during the entire month. Decorated boxes will be placed in the UPC office, The Union, residence halls and various offices around campus.

Cooper, a junior Spanish and biology major from Brookings, said the collection will be donated to the Salvation Army’s annual school supply giveaway in August. She said they would like to donate some supplies to the Congo, too.

Harvest Table is a local Brookings operation that provides free meals on Monday nights. Participants prepare activities for the children each Monday during March, including March 2, 16, 23 and 30.

Harvest Table operates in the lower level of the Brookings First United Methodist Church and starts at 5 p.m. Students should contact UPC if they would like to help.

April’s theme is Connecting with Babies. UPC will make fleece tie blankets for Brookings hospital newborns. Students will decorate hats for babies at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. Students should stop by The Union Main Street to help April 6 through 9 from 11 a.m. to noon. Extra hats will be given to Sanford babies.

“It is important that SDSU has a positive face in the community because this community is our home,” said Cooper. “Also, many residents of the Brookings community are alumni of SDSU, and it is incredibly satisfying for alumni to see that they can still take pride in the students who attend SDSU.”

Freshman Megan Schiferl, an undeclared major from Fordyce, Neb., has been active in UPC events this year. She said that it is a way to “get out in the community and get to know Brookings a little bit better.”

Schiferl also describes UPC as an opportunity to meet new people. “It’s a whole other network of friends,” she said.

Pavlow agrees. She said these events help “connect with other people on campus.

“(It) helps with communication skills and is a way to give back to the community,” said Pavlow, freshman journalism major from Savage, Minn.

To get involved, contact Cooper at [email protected].

#1.881858:1363686193.JPG:DSC_0311.JPG:Megan Schiferl, a freshman from Fordyce, Neb., plays with kids at the Harvest Table.:Pavan Kulkarni