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Service Day is an Olivet College tradition, celebrated each fall and spring as students step up to volunteer on campus and throughout the surrounding communities. It all goes back to the OC founding fathers who stated, “We wish simply to do good to our students, by placing in their hands the means of intellectual, moral and spiritual improvement, and to teach them the divine art and science of doing good to others.” This fall, Service Day will be held on Sept. 27, with many other projects spread throughout the coming weeks. Here are just eight ways Comets will be giving back this Service Day.

1. Getting Involved on Campus – Students are rolling up their sleeves and getting down to business right here on campus. The Veterans Advocacy Group is tackling the Square, planting flowers and sprucing up the WWII monument – you won’t believe the way it shines when they’re done! Another group of volunteers will clean up around the residence halls.

2. Local Community Projects – At the helm of this year’s Service Day projects are those dedicated to the city of Olivet. The Trenton Shrontz Memorial Park will get a face-lift with new mulch organized by Difference Maker Tatum Oxford. Students will also take on several projects at City Hall, including new paint, window washing and organizing the basement. In addition, a group will focus their effort on yard work in the Olivet Cemetery and the Xicano Club is dedicating their afternoon to the Eaton County Humane Society.

3. Fun and Meaningful Fundraising – Each year, criminal justice students jump into action at the Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk, raising money for the National Down Syndrome Association that provides programs and services designed to address barriers and support opportunities for people with Down syndrome and their families.

4. Lending an Extra Hand – Many service projects are centered around campus groups and organizations that need an extra hand to reach their goals. Students are branching out of their typical circles to aid special projects at the OC archives, WOCR radio station, chemistry lab, Visual Arts Department, Athletic Training Room and Laimbeer and Cutler Weight Rooms.

5. Gathering Donations – Students are teaming up with Project Linus, a nonprofit that strives to help children in need, to make fleece blankets. The softball team is venturing to the Freedom Center of Kalamazoo to assemble bags of food and personal items for homeless people. The ELITE fraternity is leading another group of volunteers to the South Central Food Bank of Michigan where they will organize and load goods for distribution.

6. Making a Difference – Provost and Dean Maria Davis, Ph.D., is leading a special project in Charlotte where students will repair and update a handicap ramp.

7. Getting Dirty – The Phi Alpha Pi fraternity won’t let a little sand in their socks keep them from cleaning up the recreational sand volleyball courts near their home, and another group of students are going to put their gloves on and work to preserve the Mawby Native Plant Garden on campus, despite the thorns and spiders they’ll encounter.

8. Beyond OC – Senior, football captain and Black Student Union president Tyler Douglass is recruiting students to spend their day at the Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy, a charter school in Lansing, where they will be working with students and helping organize classroom supplies. The men’s basketball team will also be branching out to clean up parks in Bellevue and Charlotte. Psychology students have dedicated their time to the Burma Center in Battle Creek, an organization empowering Burmese Americans through advocacy, community engagement, and education.

OC students will always tell you that helping others makes all the hard work worth it. Learn how you can get involved this Service Day by contacting Carrie Jacob ’14, community service coordinator, at 269.749.7127 or cjacob@olivetcollege.edu.

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