Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the nearby community on April 9 by volunteering at various locations during Community Work Day, a bi-annual event hosted by the Office of Christian Outreach.
This past fall semester, over 140 students participated in tasks like raking a yard, cleaning a garage and planting flowers. OCO staff member and graduate resident advisor Daniel King explained that since this upcoming work day is at the start of spring, many of the employers need help with spring cleaning.
Every year, the OCO reaches out to the community through email, phone and mail to find prospective places to work. Often times, employers who offered an opportunity in the fall semester will contact the office to offer another work job in the spring.
All student cabinet members and leaders of other organizations that are a part of the OCO are expected to help coordinate and provide some help. The six largest ministries of the OCO participating this year include Youth Hostel Ministry, Student Ministry Partners, Global Urban Perspectives, Christian Service Council, World Christian Fellowship and Breakaway Ministries.
Students traveling abroad with summer ministries and regular volunteers within other OCO ministries such as Zoe’s Feet and Chicago Evangelism Team are also invited to join. King noted that serving on Community Work Day is an easy way to support ministries which serve both the nearby community and across the world.
Students who participate are given a location to serve at and do not know what they will be doing until their arrive. After completing their task, they are given a contribution for their service to bring back to the OCO. King mentioned that he is consistently pleased to see the generosity that employers share with the OCO and its ministries, remarking, “Many go beyond paying minimum wage.”
Sophomore Clementine Kane is a co-coordinator for Lowell Tutoring, a tutoring program at an elementary school that serves immigrant and refugee children. Kane participated in Community Work Day twice already, and she looks forward for the next opportunity to serve the local community. Her first experience consisted of cleaning a person’s garage and performing yard work. The pleasure she found in volunteering can be seen through her enjoyment of the work that she completes and even the weather itself. “The weather always happens to be nice, which is a lovely fluke,” she noted as she described how volunteer assignments are “not too strenuous and quite fun.”
Students and prospective employers are welcome to contact the OCO at 630-752-5076 or email Daniel King at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss serving or providing a job opportunity.