By Angel Eggerson, Contributer
Instead of soaking up sun on a Florida beach or partying spring break away, some UNO students have pledged to make a difference in their local communities this March. The UNO Education Department is sponsoring its ninth annual Seven Days of Service. Hundreds have answered the call to use March 19 and March 21-26 to volunteer in more than 20 individual service projects around the metro area.
Some of the projects include Open Door Mission, Keep Omaha Beautiful, Habitat Omaha, Habitat Council Bluffs, City Sprouts and HELP Adult Services.
Barry Trouba, a senior at UNO and a committee member for Seven Days of Service, said organizations are still submitting project requests.
He and the rest of the committee are asking for more workers. In previous years, the event has rallied more than 1,000 volunteers and the committee is looking to have an even greater impact this year.
“As of Friday, we had almost 300 volunteers registered for this year’s event. We are off to a good start, but our goal is 1,800 volunteers over the course of the seven days,” Trouba said.
Volunteers will receive a free Seven Days of Service T-shirt and can participate for one or all seven days.
Each morning, volunteer staff will meet at 8 a.m. for registration and breakfast in the Fireplace Lounge located on the first floor of Milo Bail Student Center. Shuttle buses will take volunteers to the individual project sites at 9 a.m. and will return by 3 p.m. Lunch will also be provided at each project site.
It is vital for UNO students to participate in events like this and all should all share the responsibility, Trouba said.
“We can support our local community by building, planting and cleaning up,” Trouba said.
Well-known businesses have rallied around this cause and have chosen to sponsor this event. Sponsors include Cox Communication, Mayflower Moving, Prudential Real Estate, King Kong, Pizza Hut and Jason’s Deli.
The Seven Days of Service team has worked very hard to make this year’s event the most successful of all, Trouba said. They have received overwhelming support from people on and off campus through volunteer sign up, sponsorships and donations.
Trouba has advice for those unsure about volunteering.
“If you are on the fence because you have never done it before, and a little afraid, then the only thing I can say is just do it,” he said.
Even if people had negative volunteer experiences in the past, Trouba advises them to “get back in the saddle and try again.” There are many things to learn and connections to make as a result of volunteerism, he added.
The Seven Days of Service team has made it easy for those who want to participate. The sign-up form can be found online at unomaha.edu/serve.