By Chad Bianchi of the Sonoma State Star
The SSU Greek Community Service Day was a great success as 17 organizations and more than 525 SSU students contributed almost 2,000 hours of volunteer work in the Sonoma County community. The volunteers were spread out amongst 12 work sites helping causes including the Redwood Empire Food Bank, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Catholic Charities Restyle Market, Canine Companions for Independence, Petaluma Bounty, SSU Community Garden, four Sonoma County parks and two Sonoma County Water Agency Creeks.
The Inter Fraternity Council, Multicultural Group Council and Panhellenic collaborated with Join Us Making Progress, the Associated Students community service program to record the year’s biggest volunteer campaign. JUMP Days of Service Coordinators Chloe Kruskol and Kim Young played integral roles in the service event. About 15 student leaders largely contributed to the success of this event including IFC President and California Sigma Phi Adam Rosenkranz.
“I am so proud of the volunteers who participated,” said Rosenkranz. “As members of Greek organizations we all strive to engage in meaningful community service, but to put on an event this scale and to have the support that we did left me speechless and that doesn’t happen very often.”
Last year, the Greek community performed more than 8,000 hours of community service and raised $75,000 for non-profit service organizations. Rosenkraz is making it the Greek Community’s goal to surpass those numbers.
The Redwood Empire Food Bank provides a substantial amount of service in the Sonoma County community every day. The non-profit relies on their donors and volunteers to feed 78,000 hungry adults and children every month. Just over 20 minutes away from campus, makes it a great and easy opportunity to volunteer for a cause.
“Hunger is an urgent, basic need for life,” said Redwood Empire Food Bank Volunteer Program Manager Jen Oberti. “The fact they [Seawolves] showed up and chose us to volunteer time means people that need access to food got what they needed.”
Oberti also mentioned that about 120 Greek students volunteered their time at the food bank on Sunday, making up about 10 percent of the monthly attendance needed. The time volunteered by the students impacted roughly 18,000 households in Sonoma County. If you are interested in volunteering your time at the largest relief organization in Sonoma County please sign-up at http://www.refb.org.
Not only do the organizations that receive volunteer work gain benefits, but the process of volunteering can be a very rewarding experience in itself.
Despite the personal values gained, like helping someone who needs it or doing something good for a good cause, volunteer work can look great on resumes.
“At Paulin Creek volunteers were asked to pick up any trash or waste along the creek to give back to our community,” said member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Nayeli Vacasotelo. “It also raised awareness within the Greek community about the issues that surround us.”
The leaders of the SSU Greek Community Service Day also wanted to give a special thanks to the SSU Dining Services and Panhellenic council for donating food, as well as Starbucks for donating “a lot” of coffee.
If you are ever interested in volunteering your time there are non-profit organizations waiting. Visit http://www.sonoma.edu/as/jump/ to help get started.