by Kierstin Nall
Students are an extremely valuable part of the community we live in. Now, I suppose I am a little biased since I am a student. But, as I approach graduation, I’m taking more notice of the active role students play in changing people’s lives for the better. At United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, we understand that students offer a lot. They are innovative, fresh thinking, and passionate about giving back.
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to bring together a great group of 24 students from Western Michigan University to participate in a volunteer opportunity at two local agencies, Heritage Senior Living Center and Goodwill Industries of Southwest Michigan. Students who visited Heritage enjoyed time at the organization’s “Harvest Festival” and got to know the residents through games, snacks and conversation. Goodwill asked students to help repaint areas of their warehouse, a task that allowed staff to stay focused on their mission.
These are just two examples. There are others as well as great potential to do even more. We need to make sure students understand the importance of engaging in our community. If we give them the opportunity, they’ll make this a better place to live and work.