Hands for Change, Hearts for Service
Aug 30, 2010Cobbers ventured to many locations in the Fargo-Moorhead community this morning to offer a hand to local organizations. This program, called Hands for Change, is the service-learning component of Concordia’s freshman orientation.
Each orientation club went to a different site. Some played bingo with nursing home residents while others painted, landscaped or played with children. Club 36 was busy making mobile food pantry boxes at the Great Plains Food Bank that would be handed off trucks in underserved areas of North Dakota.
The students broke into teams and sorted through boxes of kidney beans, tomato soup, dry milk and canned fruit to be repackaged into mobile units. Weighing in at 40 pounds, each box contained food for a well-balanced diet and a cookbook.
Melissa Sobolik, director of member and client services for Great Plains Food Bank says that each box takes less than five minutes to assemble. With the students donating two and a half hours of their time, each made approximately thirty boxes. That’s enough boxes to feed thirty families for a week.
“They [the students] have high energy and have a huge impact on the people served,” Sobolik says.
The service opportunity is valued by the students as well. They benefitted from helping others and getting to know their fellow freshman.
“We get to help people and meet our classmates,” says Rachel Tisdale ’14 of Chaska, Minn.
The Cobber volunteers exchanged dialogue and laughter as they put together boxes. Their faculty mentor Julie Lucier could be seen running from table to table taping together boxes and making sure they all had cookbooks. Even in frustrating moments, the students displayed persistence. Tisdale says that the hardest part was making everything fit. The students packed and repacked boxes until everything had a place.
Service has its place as a value at Concordia. Jordan Posch ’14 from Baxter, Minn. was aware of service at Concordia from his parents, who are both Cobber graduates. He wasn’t surprised to be serving as a part of his freshman orientation.
“Concordia is about serving,” Posch says.
Sobolik says they rely on their volunteer network to put in about 10 thousand hours of service annually. This allows them to have a small staff and keep their doors open. Today the incoming Concordia class did their part to bring positive change to the Fargo-Moorhead community.