University Organizations Serve Warrensburg

Written by Madison Preston, Reporter

A student ties a recycled t-shirt to create a cat toy for community day. These toys will be donated to local animal clinics. “Service is very important to us here at the University of Central Missouri,” Marissa Boyd, first-year clinical mental health counseling graduate student, said. Photo by Skye Melcher

  The We Are UCM community service day on Feb. 12. allowed students to illustrate UCM’s motto, “Education through Service,” through active service projects.

  Student organizations teamed up to complete various service projects on campus.  Projects included creating tie fleece blankets for the homeless, cat toys from recycled t-shirts for area animal clinics, and Valentine’s Day cards for students in quarantine and those at local nursing homes.

  Phi Sigma Pi President Sydney Conley said this is an important cause to her.

  “I’ve made tie blankets before, but I also want to make sure that everyone has something to help keep them warm with all this cold weather we’ve been having, which I hope will have a good impact on the community,” Conley said.

  Emma Boessen, president of Ladies Inspiring Versatility, hopes their project spreads joy and brightens the days of recipients.

  “We wanted to spread some good vibes to the elderly and let them know they have people thinking about them during Valentine’s Day,” Boessen said. “Also, we thought they would really enjoy getting cards since most can’t have visitors due to the current COVID precautions.”

Sondra Bellard, junior psychology major, is a member of Phi Sigma Pi. Her organization participated in community day by making fleece blankets to be donated. “I think it’s really fun because there are a lot of different things to do and they’re all going to really good causes, so it’s nice to be able to help out a whole bunch of different people in one setting,” Bellard said. Photo by Skye Melcher

  Bethany Paul, chair of parent relations of Delta Zeta, said this event provides her with an opportunity to give back to the community and take an active role in the Warrensburg community.

   I wanted to do this project because I feel like the community has been so welcoming as a new student to UCM,” Paul said. “I wanted to give back and show them that I am very thankful that they are all so caring. I also wanted to be an active member within the community and this was a great place to start.”

 Boessen said she hopes Valentine’s Day cards make people feel like they’re remembered.

  “Everyone deserves to feel special and cared for,” Boessen said. “Making cards for a group of people most at-risk for feeling isolated because of the pandemic fulfills a crucial need in the community right now.”

  Community day gives students the opportunity to learn what community service means to them.

  “Giving back to the community always means so much to me. I have volunteered a lot before, and it always is so rewarding to give back to people that have less than us,” Kaitlynn Heussner, sophomore member of Delta Zeta said.

  Conley said this event allowed members of her organization to bond while doing good for the community.

Erin Frazier, sophomore secondary education major, makes Valentine’s Day cards for students in quarantine and for the residents of Ridgecrest Nursing Center. “Specifically for today it’s awesome because one of my sisters was telling us earlier that she was born premature, so she spent a lot of time in the NICU,” Frazier said. “So this is all really impactful for her because she’s able to give back to the NICU nurses and to the kids who are in Children’s Mercy.” Photo by Skye Melcher

  “My favorite part of the event was working on the blankets with a few friends from my organization because we got to hang out while also giving back to the community,” Conley said.

  Boessen said she hopes these cards help nursing home residents feel less alone.

  “My favorite part of the event was just knowing how excited the recipients of the Valentine’s cards would be,” Boessen said. “Before my grandpa passed away a little over two years ago, I would go visit him in the nursing home anytime I could. My family made sure to visit my grandpa every day, but many people never got a single visitor. Seeing how the lack of visitors impacted those individuals broke my heart, so anything I can do to make sure all residents feel loved is extremely important to me.”