200 volunteers expected for Panther Service Day

Mays Omar, Contributing Writer

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About 200 students are set to help out at the Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism’s final service opportunity of the semester.

Panther Service Day is set for April 7 and check-in for participants will start at 9:30 a.m. in the McAfee North Gym.

Transportation will be available from campus to the service events and back to campus. Buses taking students to their destinations will leave campus at 10 a.m. and return by 12:30 p.m.

Crystal Brown, the assistant director for the Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism, said the purpose of Panther Service Day is to partner with the local community and give back.

There are roughly 15 different locations that students can sign up for, including the Douglas Hart Nature Center, First Fruits Homestead, the Five Mile House and Community Aid-Ashmore.

Each station will be two hours long and each volunteer can sign up for one event. Participants will spend time painting, cleaning, doing light yard work, measuring ingredients for cooking, planting and much more with both inside and outside activities.

The office will be partnering for the second year with Greek Week.

Beth Gillespie, the interim director of civic engagement and volunteerism, said after partnering with fraternities and sororities last year, participation in Panther Service Day from greek life increased.

Fraternities and sororities get participation points for coming and being a part of Panther Service Day.

“It is an easy way to get a free T-shirt, make a difference and enjoy some time with some students before the semester ends,” Gillespie said.

To guarantee to get the right size of the T-shirts, students can sign up for Panther Service Day before March 28, but registration will be open until the day before the service day.

Volunteers should wear clothes they do not mind getting dirty and closed-toed shoes.

“Just come with a smile and eager to have fun with your peers and make a difference in the community,” Brown said.

Individuals and groups who want to volunteer at Panther Service Day are can visit www.eiu.edu/apps/registration or call the office at 217-581-3967.

Mays Omar can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].