Panther service day will impact community

Cayla Maurer, Verge Editor

Eastern Illinois University Student Government and the Student Community Service office will host the 13th annual Panther Service Day at noon on Saturday around the EIU and Charleston community.

Panther Service Day started in 2003 when Alison Maley, then Student Body President, set aside a special day to improve the relationship between EIU students and the Charleston community by giving back.

Maley was involved in a project called “Bucket Brigade” in Alton, Ill. at the time and thought a similar project would benefit EIU students. In the first year, the project was also titled the Bucket Brigade and volunteers painted six homes in Charleston.

Today, Panther Service Day is a day of service and volunteerism for students, faculty, staff and community members to give back and end the semester on a fun note.

“I have to give a ton of credit to Rachel Fisher for expanding the projects to a wide variety of needs and services within Charleston, Coles County and surrounding communities,” Maley said.

Rachel Fisher, director of the Student Community Service office, said there are over 10 different projects for people to get involved with. Projects range from planting plants at a farm and garden to helping Mattoon with their trash bash.

“It’s so easy to let a whole day go by between Netflix and relaxing,” Fisher said. “Why not go relax in action instead?”

There are two new sites to work at this year: First Fruits Homestead and Greenwood School. First Fruits Homestead is a farm where students will help rebuild cattle fence, plant seeds and work on the farm. Greenwood School is the historic property on campus next to Buzzard Hall. Students will help paint the school.

Check-in starts at 11 a.m. and everyone must be checked in by 11:30 a.m. outside of Blair Hall. The EIU Alumni Association will host a cookout from 11 a.m. – noon for all volunteers and volunteers will depart for designated projects at noon.

Cayla Maurer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].