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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Lily Gouin
Lily Gouin
Assistant Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Lily Gouin I am in my third year here at NMU. I am from Appleton, WI majoring in communications and double minoring in multimedia journalism and public relations. In my free time, I like...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Students encouraged to make sustainable products with EcoReps
Amelia KashianFebruary 22, 2024

NMU volunteering on the rise

Nationwide volunteering is on the rise and students at NMU students are increasing their support of the community with the help of Superior Edge.

Students are volunteering for organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Salvation Army, the Marquette County Humane Society and other organizations.

Nationwide, college-aged students made up 29.6% of all those who volunteered in 2006, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Americans are volunteering at a historically higher rate, up from 20.4% in 1989 to 26.7% in 2006. However, about a third of those who volunteer each year don’t return to volunteer the following year.

Students at Northern have also become involved with Superior Edge, a student organization which has helped increase volunteering through its Citizenship Edge.

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In order to earn the Citizenship Edge, students must log 100 hours of community service along with a short reflection of each service performed, said Mundell.

“With 1,277 members, Superior Edge has seen a steady increase in participants in its first three semesters,” said Allie Mundell, student assistant secretary of Superior Edge.

In the past three semesters, 51 students have completed the Citizenship Edge and 346 students are working toward it, Mundell said. In Superior Edge’s first three semesters, students have volunteered approximately 14,701 hours, she added.

One organization students have become increasingly involved with is the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

“With a staff of six and 500 volunteers, a variety of programs are possible,” said Jayne Letts, executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Volunteers are matched in a variety of programs such as meeting with younger students at local schools for lunch, working at KI-Sawyer with kids at the Salvation Army Recreation Center and the community mentoring program, added Letts.

There is an increase in interest and volunteering due to the increase in community awareness of volunteering and mentoring, said Letts.

“People want to help out their communities, especially with organizations that help kids,” said Letts.

Through a number of volunteer opportunities at the NMU Volunteer Center, students can help out with events such as Make a Difference Day, TV-6 Can-a-thon, Special Olympics, Campus Blood Drives and the Bone Marrow Registry Drive, said Krista Leidi, the Volunteer Center coordinator.

“More students have been participating in the events on campus, such as Make a Difference Day and Relay for Life, and we’ve seen an increase in interest with the e-mail update sent out weekly,” Leidi added.

Approximately 2,000 students on campus receive the weekly e-mail update, Leidi said.

“For students new to campus the Volunteer Center is a great opportunity for students to become involved in the community and to see what Marquette has to offer,” Ledi said.

However, not all organizations in the community have seen an increase in volunteering, such as the Marquette County Humane Society, said Dayna Kennedy, supervisor at the humane society.

“Due to time and the location of the humane society, there hasn’t been a solid group of volunteers,” Kennedy said.

“We receive applications daily, but not many people actually show up to volunteer,” added Kennedy. Without the support from volunteers, employees are stretched thin and the animals don’t receive as much attention, said Kennedy.

“Coming out once a week for an hour can help a lot of animals that are staying at the shelter,” Kennedy said.

The Salvation Army also has seen little change in the number of volunteers. “College students might want to volunteer at the Salvation Army,” said Cpt. Donna Rose of the Salvation Army. “However, students are very involved in school, work, and their schedules often times don’t coincide with the store’s schedule.”

There are several volunteer opportunities, said Rose, especially with the holiday season. The Salvation Army relies on its volunteers and is always looking for more help with serving meals, bell ringing and helping at the store, added Rose.

Volunteering is a great way to connect with the community, gain new skills, develop self-esteem and confidence, enhance a resume, and meet new people, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Students interested in volunteering through the Volunteer Center can e-mail the Volunteer Center at: [email protected] or stop by the University Center.

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