North Idaho College students gathered with members of Coeur d’Alene’s community to make a difference for the seventh year in a row.
This year’s Day of Service saw students and staff working to help support the efforts of seven local nonprofits: Shared Harvest Community Garden, Community Roots Gathering Garden, Human Rights Education Institute, Union Gospel Mission, Camp White, Black Bay Park and Community Action Partnership Food Bank
The benefits of the volunteer efforts does not go unnoticed by the organization members and administrators.
“We love them. They come in the fall and in the spring and there’s always work to be done down here,” said Kim Normand, coordinator and founder of Shared Harvest Community Garden. “It’s fun because none of them today have heard of the garden, so it’s a surprise to them when they come down here.”
Jessica Mannon, coordinator of Community Roots Gathering Garden, said the Day of Service gave the organization a chance to educate the younger generation on sustainable methods in gardening.
“There’s always a lot of chores to do at the garden and the volunteers here can’t do everything, so having a group like this coming in a couple times a year is very valuable,” Mannon said.
Year after year, this event proves invaluable to the organizations featured. It also helps students to see the value in community involvement.
“We started the Day of Service to give students the opportunity to connect with our local community,” said Heather Erickson, NIC’s Director of Student Life and Leadership, and a volunteer with Human Rights Education Institute. “One of our core values is community engagement, and so we really feel that by getting our students out and doing things in the community we are really able to fulfill that core value of community engagement. It gives students an amazing opportunity to see what the needs in our community are, what the nonprofits are doing and how their actions can actually fill those needs in our community, so it’s a pretty amazing opportunity for our students.”
Additional contributions by Paul Celeri.