Written by Liz Bowler, senior Communication major from Washington, Utah
Southern Utah University will host some community-binding events this week, to
enhance the spirit of service in Iron County.
The Get Engaged Volunteer Fair will offer “one-stop-shopping” for those wishing to get involved in their community. The fair will take place on the SUU campus Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Sharwan Smith Center Living Room. Students and community members can learn about an array of volunteer opportunities available in the area, such as tutoring elementary school children, serving as a mentor, helping sort and shelf food, creating fliers, assisting with bookkeeping, being a foster grandparent, reading, delivering meals, and more. The fair will also feature a blood drive, and attendees can win door prizes.
Incidentally, the Center also sponsors blood drives at SUU throughout the year. It received the “Best Campus Blood Drive” award last year from the University of Utah’s ARUP Blood Services organization because of the extensive support demonstrated by students, faculty, staff and community members. The first Drive of the semester is this Wednesday, Sept. 14 and Thursday, Sept. 15 in the Starlight Room from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Those seeking more information about Wednesday’s volunteer fair or wanting to reserve FREE booth space can contact Pam Branin, Coordinator of SUU’s Service & Learning Center at (435) 865-8335.
Branin and the Service & Learning Center, recognized last year in USA Today for their national Make A Difference Day program, are connected with more than 60 organizations in the community, and its volunteers provide countless hours and immeasurable energy to improving the lives of Iron County residents.
More than 3,000 SUU students participate in service and volunteer work through the Service & Learning Center and the school’s other service organizations. One of the most popular events the Service & Learning Center sponsors is Bread & Soup Nite on the first Monday of every month. Because of the Labor Day holiday, Bread & Soup Night will take place this month on September 12. The event benefits the Iron County Care & Share and SUU’s HOPE Pantry. A 50-cent donation and one non-perishable food item provide those who attend with all-you-can-eat soup and bread and the knowledge that they are contributing to those in need.
Last year, the Center hosted the Angel Tree and Sub-4-Santa programs, helping give 40 families in the area a merry Christmas. Volunteers also traveled to Guaymas, Mexico, and Torrance, Calif., during their Christmas and spring breaks to deliver toys and help with construction projects.
“It speaks so highly of our students that they’re really here to participate in the part of the learning process that teaches how to be a good citizen and community member,” Branin said.
Community Volunteer Fair, September 14
Blood Drive, September 14-15
Through its more than 100-year history, Southern Utah University has evolved from a teacher training school into its current role as a comprehensive, regional university to 6,000 students from across the globe. It serves the southern region of Utah and contiguous counties in surrounding states with undergraduate and graduate programs in six colleges. People of the region look to the University for outreach services, culture, economic and business development, higher learning, regional history, public affairs, major academic specialties, and significant entertainment and recreation. Accentuated by the notable, economic value of its services, SUU's hallmark is its quality staff, faculty and academics.