Students Step Up to Serve
Student groups log more than two-thirds of service hours on Evanston volunteer siteMay 20, 2013 | by Matt Paolelli
Northwestern University students have long served as good neighbors in Evanston by contributing their time and energy to various community service projects. Through the Volunteer Evanston program, those service hours are now counting for even more.
To mark Evanston’s 150th anniversary, the city has set a goal of logging 150,000 service hours for 2013. Thus far, Northwestern students and student groups have contributed more than 41,000 of the 70,000 city-wide hours that have been logged as of May 16.
The Volunteer Evanston program began more than two years ago as a joint venture between District 65, District 202, Northwestern, the Evanston Community Foundation and the city of Evanston to connect community members with service opportunities and organizations. The Volunteer Evanston website also allows volunteers to log their service hours.
The volunteering efforts of Northwestern students are helping the city to make that lofty goal attainable, said Adelita Hernandez, Evanston’s citizen engagement coordinator. More than 70,000 hours have already been logged on the site as of May 16.
“The student contribution has been outstanding to the volunteer effort,” she said. “Dance Marathon logged 40,020 hours, which is the largest log to date. Students have volunteered and logged hours from such a varying degree of activities: Summer Youth Job Fair, Cesar Chavez Day of Service, city manager internships and tutoring, to name a few.”
The Northwestern athletic department is another top contributor, as student-athletes have logged more than 500 hours. Omega Delta Phi fraternity has chipped in with more than 600 hours. Sheil Catholic Center, Northwestern Relay for Life and other student groups have joined the more than 100 city-wide organizations currently logging hours on the site. Individual students and Evanston residents are logging their service time as well.
“It’s amazing to see how many organizations are out there hoping to impact positive change for the greater good of Evanston, and it’s even more amazing to see how many individuals are making an effort to integrate volunteerism in their daily life,” Hernandez said. “I hope that those who haven’t signed up go on the site and start looking for opportunities and logging their hours.”
For more information or to sign up, visit www.volunteerevanston.org.