Volunteering Matters: For Students, Service is Real

On Wednesday and Friday nights between 4:45 and 5:15 p.m. buses filled with CRSM students, teachers and staff depart from the school parking lot headed for the PADS homeless shelter, the Northern Illinois Food Bank and to Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville.

Throughout the year, students participate in service days, the Catholic Charities Christmas gift program and the #Save3livesCRSM blood drive. These service opportunities teach them to look beyond themselves and understand the role they can play in their community and country.

Recently, about 50 students, their parents, siblings and teachers also displayed their CRSM pride by marching through the streets of Waukegan in the annual Fiestas Patrias parade.

“We’re asking them to go to college and come back to help the community and we know they will because they are already doing it,” says Preston Kendall, CRSM president.

For CRSM students, the volunteerism is not required.

“CRSM students are people for others,” says Jim Dippold, Director of Campus Ministry. Because there is no service requirement, he adds: “So what they do is truly volunteering.”

Through these volunteer experiences, he says students:

• Build upon their ethic of caring for others and contributing to their community.
• Gain new skills and meet new people.
• Get exposed to non-profit career opportunities.
• Build self-confidence and are empowered to know that they can make a difference in their community.