COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Over 200 Columbus State University students and staff members made a positive impact across the Fountain City for their annual Day of Service.
For over 15 years, CSU’s annual Day of Service has provided students, faculty and staff an opportunity to benefit the community. The event gives students the chance to gain better insight on how community outreach benefits the city.
This year’s senior class of the Servant Leadership Program is working with Fox Elementary for their senior project. The director of the program says working directly with the youth has a lasting impact.
“They’re [the CSU volunteers] here on a Saturday morning because they understand the value of access to education for all students,” said Cortney Wilson, the director of the William B. Turner Center for Servant Leadership. “For the students in the Fox neighborhoods, having that access means they only get it here at school. There are not a lot of afterschool or outside of school opportunities for students in this neighborhood.”
Student volunteers worked with Columbus High School and Paws Humane Society, going into schools, organizing learning materials in media centers and sorting through donated pet food.
“You can see the impact you’re making,” said Zachary Griffith, the senior project chair for the Servant Leadership Program. “You see the power a group has when they’re all focused on serving one goal. And, you know, you get and have that knowledge that you are doing something good in your community that again, has supported you.”
The initiative highlights the university’s core values: engagement, inclusion and servant leadership.
“It is my fundamental belief that every student deserves an equal opportunity to receive an excellent education to become an exemplary citizen,” said Miss CSU, Aaliyah Phillips. “But it starts right here in this library, making sure that students are getting the literacy education that they so deserve. ”
Each year, CSU’s Day of Services averages about 600 hours of volunteer service. At $29.67 per hour, the current value of volunteer time in Georgia as determined by the nonprofit Independent Sector — their collective services equates to a single-day monetary impact of more than $17,802.