Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Celebration of Service: Service Week 2014

For Service Week this year, we focused on celebrating service. Each of our 17 programs put on a spotlight event throughout the week that showcased their missions. Some focused on giving students an opportunity to serve, while others were more informative or fun. We had a CPR training, literacy kit making activity, food drives, an immigration forum, Easter egg hunt, talent show, Friends of the Elderly picnic, Fight the New Drug fight night, basketball game on the TSC patio, and Service-Learning capstone display. It was a great week, and ended with a big finish as students headed to the UCC House for a Pizza and Pruning activity! 

STEP painting cars

 Storytellers putting together literacy kits

                  Aggie Health CPR Training                      

 Special Olympics and the #ServiceCenterDreamTeam basketball

STAR Recess Event

               Habitat for Humanity Super Build 

 Pizza and Pruning and the UCC House

A Celebration of Service: Carnival!

To kickoff Service Week 2014, the Service Center and the members of CSSC (Campus Service Steering Committee) set up a carnival on the Quad. We had blow-up toys, puppies, a photo booth, a caricature artist, donuts on a string, a kissing booth, food and treats, and many carnival games. Thanks to all those who donated their time and help to make this the perfect start to a Celebration of Service!  

PALS Super Activity

At the end of March, the PALS went to Salt Lake for a day full of fun! They visited the Leonardo and Joe Morley's, eating really good food and having fun looking at all the exhibits. The students and their pals have grown really close this year. And this experience helped develop that bond even further. To be able to do an activity like this meant a lot to the pals, and the students saw just how much simply spending time with someone can make a difference. We have such SUPER volunteers!

Spring Break in Seattle

Alternative Breaks hit up Seattle this March! Focusing on homelessness, the volunteers helped package food and supplies, serve a meal, clean up warehouses, and much more. In fact, just in a couple days, the volunteers served as many hours as a full-time employee for 2.5 months! Volunteers also got to explore the rainy Seattle area, visiting Forks, national forests, and the many Seattle markets. It is so awesome that our students will choose to spend their Spring Break seeking to be active citizens and making a difference in the world. Go Aggies!


Storytellers took secret admirer notes to a whole new level this February! Students could write a note to their Valentine (or friend or sibling or anyone at USU) and Storytellers would deliver them for free! Folded into origami hearts or swans, these notes were sent all over campus to spread some love. The Service Center is all about putting smiles on peoples' faces, and this event sure produced many smiles, for those who received the notes as well as those who secretly sent them. Service is the best! 

Hunger Banquet

Students Together Ending Poverty puts on a Hunger Banquet each year. They partnered with SeeeMe this year. SeeeMe was started by a professor here at Utah State, Dr. Grenney, in 2005. Their goal is to take trips to Uganda to implement projects at orphanages. At the Hunger Banquet, students helped out with a variety of service projects, such as making ovulation trackers, putting together kazoos, painting toy cars, and coloring learning materials. All the products of these projects will then be sent to Uganda on SeeeMe's next trip. 
The purpose of the Hunger Banquet, however, is to give students a taste of what most of the world's population lives on each day. When arriving at the banquet, students were randomly selected into three groups: Upper Class, Middle Class, and those below or at the poverty line. There were only a privileged few (about 6) that were in the Upper Class, and the majority were at the poverty line. Meals were then given according to those categories. Those in the Upper Class got a three course dinner including steak and dessert. Those in the Middle Class got beans and rice. And those below or at the poverty line were given a gruel-like mixture. It was eye opening to see just how lucky we are here at Utah State. And that is the point. We often don't understand truly what it means to be impoverished. Thanks to STEP and SeeeMe, students at USU walked away with a stronger desire to help end poverty. 

Service Center Winter Retreat

Staying overnight at the USU Training Center in Bear Lake, the Service Center embarked on a fun retreat. There was plenty of food to munch on, and an epic pie eating contest. We played reverse charades and got to know each other better by trying to guess what movie or famous person they would be. It was a great way to start of the second half of the school year, and a good motivator to finish strong! Service Center for life!