On Nov. 5, more than 130 Associated Students employees participated in the second annual AS Day of Service. To give back to the community Western resides in, employees performed 650 hours of service at 11 different locations in Bellingham.
“The community partners that we are working with not only provide valuable resources to the greater-Bellingham community, but also many Western students,” said Hannah Cooley, personnel assistant director and event coordinator. “Day of Service provides AS employees the opportunity to give back to the community.”
Morgan Jade, Sexual Awareness Center coordinator, planned the first Day of Service in 2010.
“It was exciting to see AS employees go out into the community for a variety of causes," Jade said. "The experience helped AS employees create meaningful connections with the Bellingham community and also fostered team building among AS departments.”
Emma Buttersworth, Recycle Center staff manager who worked at the Crooked Path and Outback Farm, said it was nice to be in nature working to preserve it.
“We should do this once a quarter,” she said.
But not all work was outdoors. Heather Siddiqui, a Social Issues Resource Center employee, led 14 others serving the Bellingham Food Bank.
“The food bank has seven paid staff and 300 volunteers, most of which only want to work food distribution," Siddiqui said. "We’ve been told that the only time it gets cleaning and painting is when the AS comes.”
Dave Graham, Mt. Baker Theatre’s Volunteer Steering Committee president said their non-profit relies on volunteers.
“Otherwise, this theater would not operate as we know it,” he said. “Because of that, we’re able to bring entertainment to the community at a much lower price.”
Mario Orallo-Molinaro, AS vice president for activities, helped clean and organize the theater.
“I’m a theater major giving back to something I’m passionate about,” he said. “Art’s a major part of our community.”
AS Productions assistant Ruta Nanivadekar, who served inside Planned Parenthood’s full-service clinic said, “Planned Parenthood is frequented by many Western students. It’s important to give back because they do a lot for us.”
Other volunteer locations included the Boys & Girls Club, Jinx Art Space, Arts Academy for Youth, Brigid Collins and Franklin Park.