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Students Volunteer Locally During L&C Cares

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Article by: S. Paige Allen (618) 468-3280 pallen@lc.edu

GODFREY – As a tribute to National Volunteer Week, more than 100 L&C students are participating in “Lewis and Clark Cares,” a week of volunteering that runs April 23-29.

“L&C Cares helps students connect with community organizations and encourages personal growth and empowerment through community service,” said Student Activities Coordinator Jared Hennings.

Student volunteers are working with several local organizations including Riverbend Head Start, Alton Boys and Girls Club, Crisis Food Center, Main Street Community Center in Edwardsville, the Alton Area Animal Aid Association and many more.

“This is our fourth L&C Cares event, and each year we gain more students willing to volunteer to help in our community,” Hennings said. “Students volunteering this week include those from our YouthBuild program, Veterans Services, Occupational Therapy Assisting, Early Childhood Education, Medical Assisting, Paralegal, Restoration Ecology, Student Activities and more. L&C Speech Professor Elizabeth Grant’s students are volunteering for the Senior Citizen Prom at the Main Street Community Center in Edwardsville. The women’s tennis and volleyball teams are also volunteering.”

Grant said she looks forward to volunteering with her students every year.

“My students are excited to get involved in good works in the community,” Grant said. “I believe that many of our students come to college with backgrounds in service as they were very busy in high school. If we can continue that energy, or light that spark for someone who has not volunteered in the past, we can change this world locally and beyond.”

Al Womack Jr., executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alton, Inc., said his organization has been a participant in L&C Cares since it started. He said having the college students mentor the younger students at his agency is a great opportunity for all involved.

“We appreciate how engaged the L&C students are as they interact with our children, and we want to thank them for their service,” Womack Jr. said. “The college students are very engaged and do a great job. They tutor our students and work with them during playground time. It is a win-win for us all.”

President Richard Nixon established National Volunteer Week with an executive order in 1974 as a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers. Every sitting U.S. president since Nixon has issued a proclamation during National Volunteer Week (as have many U.S. mayors and governors,) urging Americans to give their time to community outreach organizations.

For more information about L&C Cares, contact Hennings at (618) 468-6400 or by email at jhenning@lc.edu. View more photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/lewisandclarkcc/