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Humm: Volunteering good for community, students

By Sara Humm
On October 12, 2010

Volunteering is something that involves dedication, compassion, a strong heart, and an open mind.

This past weekend, about 150 Ottawa University students spent a part of their fall break volunteering in the Ottawa community. Totaling about 700 volunteer hours.

OU's volunteer organization, GOTCHA, arranged several community service projects for students to participate in, if they so desired, for what is called alternative break.

Not only did the coaches of football, women's soccer and women's basketball step up and dedicate their teams to help, other individual students dedicated their time as well.

Considering last year's alternative break only had around 30 OU volunteers, this is an increase and shows great hope for OU's volunteer projects in the years to come.

Students volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Hope House, Prairie Paws Animal Shelter and other local organizations that needed a hand.

These are all organizations that give back to the Ottawa community with their services and even though the OU community may not directly benefit from all of the organizations in town, we can still give them the extra time we have.

As college students, we may have time between classes, practices and other extracurricular activities. This is time we can give back to the community.

Not only is volunteering a great way to show other students, faculty and administration of the university that we as students are aware of our surroundings and how we can help others who are in need.

This is also a gesture to the Ottawa community that OU does care about the town we call home for the majority of the year.

As we try to build up the relationship between OU and the Ottawa community, volunteering is the greatest way to show we care.

Volunteering is a simple and selfless act that we could all try to take part in more often.

If it is with an organization in town or just picking up trash around campus or a local park, anything helps.

GOTCHA is planning to participate in larger national days of service such as Make a Difference Day and volunteer projects on a smaller scale that take place on a monthly basis.

Doing a good deed can be a life changing experience and can change a person's perspective on life. Helping those that are less fortunate is something that is not only necessary but is something we should be able to take a few hours a week or month to do.

Hopefully the number of OU and community volunteers will increase for the next alternative break, but we shouldn't wait until then.

Look into becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, give a helping hand to the Franklin County Cancer Foundation or spend a few hours of a Saturday at the Ottawa Community Arts Council.

If we all give up a few hours every week or month, you may be surprised to find it could not only affect those you are helping, it could also make a positive impact on your life.

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