Serve plans a busy fall


Gunter Kleist

Doug Devris

This month there are going to be several community events put on by NVU-Johnson’s Serve office. Serve supplies NVU Johnson with community service opportunities and supports students who want to make a difference in their community. It also gives students on-campus jobs, work-study, opportunities to meet new people and make valuable connections. “It helps them with job skills, it also helps them get connections in the community, will help them eventually with getting a career, it looks really good on a resume, also it feels giving back”, says the Coordinator of Leadership and Community Service Doug Legris.

Students who participate in these events say they get just as much from them as the people they do them for. According to Emily Huff the program has helped her better herself: boosting her self-confidence, taking on leadership roles, public speaking and organization. Most of all, she is more aware of the world around her and being involved has helped her to find her voice. She encourages students to participate. “Do it!” she says. “Sometimes people second guess it, but just do it! I’ve made really good friends from this program. We’re all just like a tight group of people, so definitely come, join us, have fun!”

Serve is also trying to set up a mentoring service through the America Reads program for some students at Cambridge Elementary School. “They right now have 15 kids that need mentors and we’re kind of challenging Johnson campus to supply those mentors,” says Legris. He’s optimistic that it will be a great opportunity for the kids as well as the tutors, and will have a lasting positive impact in the community.

Serve’s local initiatives have been ongoing throughout the semester, and more are planned. Resource, is a non-profit second hand shop in Hyde park, was the destination for an Oct. 19 outing when students helped go through existing stock, organize and clean, as well as help with any other tasks needed to be done.

Serve was also involved in the Oct. 25 blood drive.

The North Country Animal League will be hosting a Pictures with Pooches event on Friday, Oct. 26. This will be an after school event for everyone in the community regardless of age. There will be activities set up as well as a chance to play with cats and dogs, and a showing of an animal-themed classic.

Community meals are put on twice a month at the United Church of Johnson, and this is an ongoing event, which can always use additional volunteers. The food is donated by Sodexo, and there is usually music as well.

Also ongoing is the America Reads program at Cambridge Elementary School. Students simply sign up, and go read to the children as many times as they want. According to Legris, this is a program without a big commitment that still has a big impact.

He urges those wanting more information to stop by the Serve office in Stearns.