Students Give Back to Community in Record Fashion During Week of Impact
FSC students helping at Campfire USA with sorting items for an upcoming yard sale during during the Student Government Association-sponsored Week of Impact. See more photos »
LAKELAND (Feb. 7, 2012) – Florida Southern students turned out in record numbers to serve the Lakeland community during the Student Government Association-sponsored Week of Impact.
During the ninth annual event, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4, students devoted almost 1,000 hours of service to at least eight charitable organizations. That level of participation was nearly triple the number of hours previously logged, said Ashley Gibson, SGA Vice President of Community Service and Public Relations.
“The Student Government Association feels that it is important for the student body of Florida Southern to practice service and to give back to our community,” she said. “We worked really hard on publicizing the week. I tried to utilize our social media. I talked to the presidents of the student organizations and told the executive board of SGA to be sure and talk it up.”
The week began with a Do Something Now Fair, at which almost 200 students heard a presentation from Campfire USA leaders about their organization. The students then visited information booths from local charitable groups.
On Jan. 31, students from at least 15 campus groups fanned out into a privately owned orange grove in South Lakeland to pick more than 7,000 pounds of citrus which was donated to several local organizations. The gleaning project continued throughout the afternoon, and students delivered the fresh oranges to homeless shelters, such as Talbot House and Lighthouse Ministries, and to a new effort, Polk Project, which prepares meals for school children to take home on weekends.
The fruit-gathering was organized by the Society of St. Andrew, which specializes in gleaning fresh produce for charities.
Other projects during the week included donating bottles of water and Gatorade to the Sandwich Ministry of the FSC Chaplain’s Office, which delivers free food and drinks to the homeless. More than 2,200 bottles were collected for the ministry.
In another project, students wrote about 2,000 Valentine’s Day cards for residents of the Florida Presbyterian Homes and patients at Lakeland Regional Hospital.
The week concluded with students gathering at Campfire USA’s local headquarters. They heard presentations on setting leadership goals and how to achieve them and then helped Campfire with cleaning, painting and sorting items for an upcoming yard sale.
“I’m extremely happy with the turnout,” said SGA President M.G. Matarazzo. “Each year we look at how we can improve the week and make it better. Our student groups had really motivated leaders making sure they were accountable.”>