Quote of the Month...

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~ Mother Teresa

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Service: June

IUPUI  students planned a 5K  run to raise money for the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent. The run was hosted at Northview Church in Carmel.
The 5k Family Fun Run was a success.

"It was our first year and we exceeded all of our goals.  We had 170 runners and raised $2,400.35 for Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent.  We also had a DJ, photographer, mascots, awards, food, etc.  And the weather couldn't have been more perfect!" said Courtney Cooley, a former IUPUI student.

Cooley's family planned the 5K run together and out of those who volunteered about half were IUPUI students. 

Visit their facebook page: Here!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Service: May

Our Summer Service event at the Midwest Food Bank had only a few volunteers, but they all worked very hard and put forth a marvelous effort.

 Thanks to Prapti Jain, Tiffany Plourde and Courtney Abshire for their impressive team work and great attitudes.

Volunteers @ IUPUI

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer Alternative Break

Once Upon A Time In Appalachia

Want to do service and enjoy the beauty of Appalachia this summer? Alternative Break Coordinators at IUPUI are organizing a Summer Alternative Breaks trip.
Applications will be sent out soon.

 When is this trip? June 21-25, 2012

 Where will we be going? Once Upon A Time in Appalachia
                                               4100 Timber Wood Rd.
                                                Maryville, TN 37801

What will we be doing? 
Volunteers will be housed in the Once Upon A Time facilities and get a chance to help in all the focus areas of this organization: Cherokee Indians, the environment and rural Appalachian mountain farm life. On Friday the group will do trail work in the Cherokee National Forest with the rangers and local volunteers. On Saturday volunteers will attend the festival at Sequoyah Museum to commemorate an important date in Cherokee history. Sunday there will be homesteading projects – working in the garden, splitting firewood, making blackberry jam, etc.
Is there more information?Volunteers can find more information about Once Upon A Time in Appalachia online.
To visit the facebook page! Click Here!
To visit their website. Click Here!

Who do you contact?
Taylor Pennell, Summer Breaks Coordinator

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bittersweet Day

Bittersweet Service Day was Friday, April 20.  One of our groups served at Indy Urban Acres, located east of 21st Street and Shadeland Avenue.  This was the same service site visited on C├ęsar Chavez Day of Service.

Ben Spandau and Katy Frantz led the group in filling 24 raised beds with dirt.  They also beautified the
garden area by mulching around the raised beds.  The four hours of work was tiring.  Everyone had aching limbs from shoveling and wheelbarrowing the dirt and mulch.

The garden will provide fresh produce to food banks around Indianapolis so that produce can be picked in the morning and served on a plate in the evening.

For more pictures from other sites visit Volunteer at IUPUI on facebook.

Work at Indy Urban Acres

Raised Beds getting set up at Indy Urban Acres.  
Faithful volunteers tearing stickers off of the raised beds.  
Taking off stickers was harder than it looked

Volunteers shoveling dirt into the raised beds.

The group with the finished product

Monday, April 9, 2012

Leaders in Service: Fernanda Agnes

The ServiceCorps at IUPUI  have been covering social issues this year. Fernanda Agnes and two other members, Chris Huff and Gabby Mendoza, researched the topic of youth. Although that may seem general, Agnes and her teammates broke it down into three specific topics. Agnes let us know in a Q&A session why she chose this topic.

Fernanda Agnes, member of the IUPUI ServiceCorps

Q: What made you decide to cover youth?
A: I decided to cover social issues involving youth because I believe that the youth of today is the future of tomorrow. Therefore if we invest in their well-being and education, perhaps we will see a better world for the generations to come after them.

Q: What specifically about youth are you focusing on when covering this social issue?
A: The topic Youth is very broad social issue. As Service Corps Leaders we were paired in groups that share the same social issue for each month. Within my particular group we all felt a good personal connection with different specific issues that involve youth and especially children. One of us focused on children with disabilities, another person focused on youth hunger and homelessness.

For me, I am particularly concerned with the level of education given to the young generations.  Considering so many different hardships some of our children suffer these days. Having a meaningful and quality education is key for all of them to develop into adults who are confident on whom they are and that they are just as great as anyone else.

In order to accomplish a world of equal opportunities for all, we need to give our youngsters the tools to develop themselves and consequently go after all the existing opportunities out there, and even create new opportunities. When children are offered good education and support, they will grow up to be a strong person no matter what other types of adversity they had to deal with throughout their childhood. We need to give every child the certainty that they matter, and we believe in them. So they can “be” the bright future they aspire to be!

Q: What organization are you serving at that help youth?
A: I have worked with charter schools in Indianapolis that deal with the specific issue of offering good quality education to underprivileged children. The work they do is amazing! I grew up in a society that had a very strong mind set toward the fact that children who go to public schools will not have the same chances as the ones that are privileged enough to afford private school.

I wanted to grow up and prove that we all have the capability and suitability for all the same opportunities if we apply ourselves to it, and most importantly, if we have someone to tell us at a young age that they believe in us. So watching these schools being so passionate about giving all the necessary tools for these children to succeed, regardless of their current social or economic situation, is a dream come true to me! The first step to growing generations that don’t feel they “need” to rely on welfare because the society may believe they are doomed to failure if they were born into a family that has little to no economic power, is to empower every child.

I volunteered one day in one of these schools, coming in to talk to children from kindergarten through fourth grade about my college experience. It sounded odd to me at first, but once I was there, having a conversation with all these kids about what they expect from college and seeing that unlike me at that age, they know they have the chance to get higher education, and they are encouraged to do so, made my heart beat faster! To see their little eyes shining because some stranger cares enough about them to sit down on the floor and just give them the attention that is so vital in building their confidence was priceless. I had the most caring hugs on my way out!

Q: What can you do, as an individual, to help with this issue? Is it something that applies to your major?
A: This issue doesn’t really apply to my major, but it is close to my heart. So I will always do anything within my reach and beyond to support quality education and empowerment for children.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Connected to Service

The helpindyonline.com flyer

Today is a short, informative post for those wanting to serve in the the Indy community.
Helpindyonline.com is a website that can connect volunteers to organizations that meet their interests.

Visit the site and let us know about your experiences.
Help Indy Online

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cesar Chavez Day of Service

The day of service that the Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholars have been planning for the past few months was this past Saturday, March 24, 2012.

Volunteers for Cesar Chavez Day of Service planted 66 fruit trees at Indy Urban Acres.

Tyler Gough, the director of IUA, was pleased with all the work that was accomplished and the heart of service volunteers showed.

"It was fantastic, unbelievable," he said, "It was super muddy out there and everyone was great and more than willing to work in the mud."

Because of rain on Friday the holes volunteers were digging would fill with water. That didn't stop them, in fact some volunteers said they enjoyed the challenge.

"I knew it (the service day) was going to be good, but I didn't think it was going to be that good," Gough said.

He said he appreciated the individuals that expressed an interest in serving during the summer, and he looks forward to meeting many more volunteers from IUPUI.

You can follow this link to Fox 59 website: Fox59 News at Indy Urban Acres

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Leaders in Service: Ben Spandau

We had a Q&A session with one of the service leaders at IUPUI.  Ben Spandau, along with two other leaders researched and presented on the issue of domestic violence.

Ben Spandau

Q: What made you three decide to cover domestic violence?
A: We really decided which issue to cover by choosing which month worked best with each of us and were assigned an issue.  The choice was really not much of a story but I have taken this opportunity to learn more about the social issue of Domestic Violence.  

Q: What organization are you serving at that helps those suffering from domestic violence?
A: I worked with the Salvation Army's Shelter for victims of domestic violence.  We helped paint, clean, and build storage shelving for their children's play room.

This service helps the children who have been affected by domestic violence to have somewhere safe and clean that they can play and receive educational life lessons.  This allows the family to either seek therapy for their issues or time for the mother to find ways of keeping her and her children safe and self-sufficient.

We all had a lot of fun and learned a lot about how the Salvation Army helps those who have experienced domestic violence.  I encourage everyone to volunteer at the Salvation Army shelter to further their knowledge to this important social issue.

Q: What can you do, as an individual, to help with this issue?
A: The first thing that you can do is to educate yourself on the social issue of domestic violence.  Knowledge is power when it comes to this issue.  Most people who are in an abusive relationship and experience domestic violence do not accept or see that they are.  Others are unable to escape the abusive relationship that they are in.  

Being knowledgeable of the issue allows you to identify the action or symptoms and effectively guide those in need.  The other thing that I would encourage someone to do to get involved is to volunteer at local domestic violence shelters such as the Salvation Army or Julian Center.  They are always in need of volunteers doing anything from painting a wall to playing with kids or even just stuffing envelopes.

Just remember, no matter how small or insignificant your service may feel like, you are changing someone's life.

Q: Any other comments or experiences you want to share about this issue?
A: I understand that finding the bright side to this issue is a hard thing to find.  Domestic violence is a very hard issue to take in because it is very depressing and hard to see.  We must take it head on though or it will continue in greater proportions.  

No matter how hard something is, we must strive to make this world better for everyone who is in need of our help.  Our luxury is our ability to help others to attain those inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Week

Last month we celebrated National Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Tables were set up with Kindness Challenge Cards. We designed and printed entire decks of cards with ideas for being kind. Each suit represented a different category and the challenges grew progressively harder to do as the rank of the card increased. A few examples are listed below:

Clubs: People you know
2 – Send a compliment someone’s way
A – Call a mentor to say thank you

Hearts:  For those Unknown
2 – Smile and say hello to a passing stranger
A – Sign up for the bone marrow registry (more information at www.marrow.org)

Spades: For our Community & World
2 – Pick up a piece of trash on the ground and throw it away
A - Start a piggy bank for a cause that’s important to you and donate it to them once it is full

Diamonds: For yourself
2 – Be spontaneous for the day
A – Stop negative self-talk: “I’m not good enough, too fat, not qualified, etc.”

We also did a Flash Mob of Kindness

We gave a bouquet of flowers to three random people.
We gave one flower at a time, until they had a full bouquet.

Here are the marvelous volunteers for the Flash Mob of Kindness

One recipient of the bouquet of flowers gave us a great reaction.

We will be posting videos of our Flash Mob of Kindness later. Keep a look out for it. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Come Join the Family!

“Many small people, in many small places, do many small things, that can alter the face of the world.” - Anonymous

    This time of year our office is bustling with activity. We are currently recruiting new students into the Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship.  Talking with IUPUI students we encourage them to apply even if they don't have a long resume of service work.  We want people with a heart to serve others. 

For those interested, posted below are the programs:

Join the Sam H. Jones Service Scholarship Family!

Do you want to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself?
Do you have talents and skills to share with others to create a positive, sustainable impact on the community?
Join the Family!
        The Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship program is a group of students who work together in and with the community to positively impact the city of Indianapolis and the world. With nine different types of scholarships, there is need for students who bring a diversity of skills and backgrounds to the program.
        Scholarship amounts vary based on various requirements and hours of service performed in the community. If you are interested to learn more about the scholarships available or to apply, please visit the following links for more information.

o Application Deadline: April 15, 2012 at 5:00pm

o Application Deadline: April 1, 2012 at 5:00pm

o Priority Application Deadline: March 15, 2012

o Priority Application Deadline: March 15, 2012

o Application Deadline: April 1, 2012 at 5:00pm

o Application Deadline: February 15, 2012

o Application Deadline: April 1, 2012 at 5:00pm

o Application Deadline: April 1, 2012 at 5:00pm

o Application must be submitted by an IUPUI faculty member or staff

o Application Deadline: See program information

The Sam H. Jones scholarships require a minimum GPA of 2.75, and a minimum enrollment of 6 credit hours. In addition, participation in several scholarships might be restricted depending on time commitment. For specific requirements, responsibilities and how to apply please visit http://csl.iupui.edu/OCS/samjones.asp  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Too Much Service?

I discovered an article written by Julia Moffitt of WTHR News in Indianapolis. Thank you to all of those who volunteered at the 2012 Super Bowl. Many IUPUI students were involved in the effort.
See the article written in early November 2011:

Courtesy of Volunteer Kristyn Siebert.
An inside peek at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis - The Indianapolis 2012 Super Bowl committee has a problem - too many volunteers. With 276 days until Super Bowl 46, organizers say that they already have their 8,000 volunteers and an addition 5,000 on the waiting list. For those who didn't sign up soon enough, there are still ways to volunteer as early as this weekend.
Nate Robinson is one of the thousands of volunteers helping the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee. Right now, he is working as a receptionist inside the main office.
A few of our people from the IUPUI Office of Community Service:
Jessica Jackson, Ashley Winfield, Brandon Amos and Patty Mathison
"It's fun seeing people come in and prepare for meetings," Robinson said. "you can even feel the energy inside the building even though it's contained right here, it's going to be fun."
When it comes to volunteers, Indiana has never had a problem.
"Oh, it's been very easy, very easy" said Sheila Bradley, the director of volunteer services for the Super Bowl Committee.
Bradley, who is in charge of recruiting and training, knows better than anybody. She says that even though more than 5,000 volunteers are on a waiting list, and most likely will never be needed, she gets calls and emails daily with requests. Her biggest advice to these people is to get involved with other areas of volunteerism in the city.
Hundreds of volunteers get together each weekend in parts of the city as part of the Super Bowl Legacy Project, planting trees, scrapping paint and pulling weeds.

The wonderful Patty Mathison downtown
during one of her many volunteer shifts
"Indianapolis is a great city and we want to make a great impression to the rest of the world to see," said volunteer, Crystal Babb.
Bruce Flanagan is another person volunteering now. He isn't necessarily getting his hands dirty but he knows the work he is doing behind the scenes, writing, filing and cataloging pictures, is just as important.
"I'd like to volunteer on a regular basis because most of the work is done before the final week and that's when the fun is," Flanagan said.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Current in News: HIV/AIDS

Here is a current topic in news.

In 1984 the National Organ Transplant Act established a system that would allow for a a fair a trustworthy source for organ donations.  Within the guidelines of NOTA, HIV/AID infected organs were not to be accepted. While this was not done out of prejudice, it was done to prevent further spreading of HIV/AID.

Today, a new push has been made to allow HIV/AID infected organs to be used for patients who have the acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
In order for that to happen there would need to be a change made to NOTA.

Those supporting the change claim that it will cut the list of patients on the wait-list in half.
Others are hesitant to move too quickly. Not wanting to allow for the risk of mixing organ donations.

Below are some links to articles on the issue.
Educate yourself.

Kidney Transplants

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leaders in Service: Jessica Rodenbeck

Jessica Rodenbeck is a member of the 
ServiceCorps Scholarship Program at IUPUI
Age: 21
Major: Pre-Dental Biology

IUPUI students recognize Jags in the Streets as a resource that provides service opportunities on or around campus.  For those organizing the monthly service events being a part of the ServiceCorps program gives them another reason to delve into social issues. 
             Jessica Rodenbeck decided to educate herself and her peers within the ServiceCorps program on a social issue that has recently been brought to her attention.
            “I participated in IUPUI's World AIDS Day events and realized there was a lot I did not know about the topic,” She said in an e-mail.
This past Friday the ServiceCorps volunteered at the Damien Center, an organization whose mission is "to care for those affected and infected with HIV/AIDS." 

Traci Johnson is an AmeriCorps volunteer and the Volunteer Coordinator at the Damien Center.  She worked with Rodenbeck on coordinating the service event.
There was a library of “a bajillion books” that Johnson needed help moving from the basement to the main floor.
“They helped organize the books so we could move them upstairs,” she said. 
What Johnson enjoys most about her job is seeing people speak out about HIV prevention.  Jessica also wanted to be educated so that she could use her knowledge base to educate others.
“HIV/AIDS is considered a sexually transmitted disease, it is automatically assumed by many that one contracts it through sexual contact, even though there are many other ways for contraction, including blood donation, etc.,” Rodenbeck said.
Children can also be infected through their parents, making it a disease they contracted by no choice of their own. 
Rodenbeck: “Throughout history there have been many children kept from school…just because they were infected with HIV. Now that the virus and disease is more understood, people affected can live very close to a normal lifestyle.”