Middle Georgia State University’s second annual Day of Service saw participation more than double over last year as students, staff, and faculty fanned out across the region to volunteer at various service organizations.
The University’s second annual Day of Service took place Friday, September 27, 2019 at 24 organizations located in every community where Middle Georgia State (MGA) has campuses: Macon, Cochran, Dublin, Eastman, and Warner Robins. About 380 students, along with some staff and faculty, performed a wide variety of volunteer work – everything from reading to elementary school students to stocking food pantries to walking and bathing dogs at an animal shelter.
“We had a huge jump in the number of volunteers, which we were super excited about,” said Dr. Jennifer Brannon, who coordinates MGA’s Day of Service as the University’s vice president for Student Affairs. “We now have momentum to make Day of Service a major annual event that connects our students to community partners and encourages them to make service a lifelong habit.”
Many MGA students who volunteered said the experiences were meaningful to them and likely sparked long-term habits of serving.
“I really love animals,” said Kaitlyn Kelly, a 21-year-old senior majoring in New Media and Communications who volunteered at the Houston County Humane Society. “I enjoyed being able to care for the animals so much that I plan on going back during my free time.”
Nia Alston, a 21-year-old sophomore majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, volunteered to help with facilities and grounds cleanup projects on MGA’s Macon Campus.
“I thought it would be cool to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes” of keeping up MGA facilities, Alston said. “Giving back is very important to me, so whenever I have the chance to do it, I jump at the opportunity.”
Rojean Sanders, a senior majoring in Health Services Administration, who also helped out with Macon Campus cleanup, said volunteering helps remind her of the value of hard work. “I have a mindset for service and giving back to the community, so of course I’ll make it a lifelong habit,” she said.
Eva Baumgaertel, 19, a sophomore majoring in Nursing, agreed that volunteering is life-changing. She spent MGA’s Day of Service at Compassionate Care Hospice. “It’s important to not just think about yourself but to keep the whole community in mind,” she said.
Here is the complete list of organizations where MGA students, staff, and faculty volunteered last Friday:
At Home Senior Living: Help with games for residents during activity time.
Bleckley County Elementary School: Read to classes and participate in the “Shoot Hoops Not Drugs” program.
Cochran Bleckley Recreation Department: Field maintenance and other projects on site.
Georgia Canine Rescue & Rehab Center: Cleaning, walking and caring for animals.
Middle Georgia Equestrian Center: Assist in projects.
MGA Cochran Campus: Help with creation of butterfly garden and work on an athletic field project.
Promise of Hope: Property cleanup, painting, general maintenance.
Salvation Army: Help with sorting, hanging, cleaning, and other tasks.
Stepping Stone: Help with painting indoors and painting flower pots.
Christian Life Center: Assist with cleaning, organizing items from thrift store, and some light yard work.
Dodge County Food Bank & Pantry: Help in and around the food pantry.
Faithful Hearts Animal Shelter: Clean the facility, walk and care for the animals.
MGA Eastman Campus: Help clean the display plane out in front of campus and the area around the plane.
Loaves & Fishes Ministry of Macon: Sorting and hanging clothing in clothes bank, cleaning, organizing, and painting.
Macon Bibb Animal Welfare: Walking and bathing dogs and snuggling cats, cleaning.
Middle Georgia Community Food Bank: Sorting products, loading and unloading boxes, sweeping, cleaning, stacking, organizing.
MGA Macon Campus: Provide landscape cleanup.
St. Francis Episcopal Church: Painting outdoor porches and yard work.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site: Preservation project to lay sod around historic buildings and clean up interpretive gardens and grounds.
Bonaire United Methodist Food Pantry: Help with the food pantry and the clothes closet.
Compassionate Care Hospice: Prepare goodie bags for clients and help with a craft project.
Houston County Humane Society: Cleaning, walking and caring for animals.
MGA Warner Robins Campus: Provide help with interior projects.