NIU’s second-year students can participate in any of nine service events on campus and in the DeKalb and Sycamore communities during the month of February as part of Sophomore Days of Service, sponsored by the Office of First- and Second-Year Experience.
“One of the most important tasks of the sophomore year is developing purpose,” says Denise Rode, director of First- and Second-Year Experience.
“After exploring what the university has to offer in the first year, these students often are ready to commit to a major, career, friendships, and a set of values, which may include service,” she adds. “Our goal is to give them opportunities to test out their service interests in brief but significant ways.”
Nicolette Riscossa, an NIU sophomore majoring in accountancy and minoring in community leadership and civic engagement, said that she has been volunteering since her freshman year of high school and continued to do so since her first year at NIU through organizations such as Alpha Phi Omega coed service fraternity and Bread for the World, an international organization that works to eliminate global hunger.
“I volunteer because I believe it’s the right thing to do,” Riscossa says. “At the end of a day of volunteering, I’m happy to know that somehow I made someone’s day just a little bit better.”
The 2014 program includes the following locations:
- Sunday, Feb. 9 – Feed’em Soup, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 122 S. First St., DeKalb.
- Thursday, Feb. 13 – Senior Center Valentine’s Day Activities, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., St. Mary Parish Hall, 244 Waterman St., Sycamore.
- Saturday, Feb. 15 – Hope Haven, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., 1145 Rushmoore Drive, DeKalb.
- Sunday, Feb. 16 – Feede’m Soup, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 122 S. First St., DeKalb.
- Wednesday, Feb. 19 – Campus Child Care, 3 to 5 p.m., east side of Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb.
- Thursday, Feb. 20 – Heritage Woods of DeKalb, two shifts TBA, (first shift – females preferred; second shift – males preferred), 2626 N. Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb.
- Saturday, Feb. 22 – DeKalb Public Library, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 309 Oak St., DeKalb.
- Tuesday, Feb. 25 – DeKalb County Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, 3 to 5 p.m., 2600 N. Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb.
- Thursday, Feb. 27 – Barb Food Mart, 3:30 to 6 p.m., Huntley Middle School, 1515 S. Fourth St., DeKalb.
Although Sophomore Days of Service is targeted for second-year students, any student can sign up online.
“The great thing about volunteering is that there are so many different types of organizations to devote your time to,” Ricossa says. “You can spend time at a nursing home playing bingo with senior citizens or out in a garden planting fresh vegetables that are picked and donated. Sophomore Days of Service give you a chance to go out now and find a special cause you’re passionate about and begin to improve your community, one service project at a time!”
Co-sponsors of Sophomore Days of Service are members of the Lambda Sigma Sophomore Honor Society. Lambda Sigma is a national coed organization based on the pillars of scholarship, leadership, fellowship and service.
As part of the February service events, First- and Second-Year Experience and Lambda Sigma are sponsoring a book drive from Saturday, Feb. 8, through Tuesday, Feb. 25. New or gently used books for children and adults can be contributed to be given to residents at area nursing homes, Hope Haven hopeless shelter, and the NIU Campus Care Center. Books also can be brought to Chick Evans Field House 101 (First- and Second-Year Experience); for pick-up, call (815) 753-0028.
For more information, visit First- and Second-Year Experience in Room 101 of the Chick Evans Field House, call (815) 753-0028 or email [email protected].