Coordinating Efforts

Posted by cservaes on March 12, 2010 in "Academic Programs", Community, "Current Students" Through a partnership with East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN), OU now has an on-site Volunteer Coordinator.

Dr. Janice Craft began her work in the Adawe LifePlan Center on The College campus in September and already has helped organize several volunteer opportunities for students.

Her first project was helping OU and community members commemorate September 11 with several events, including a memorial service in the Fredrikson Chapel. Craft also helped plan OU’s Alternative Fall Break.

“I have on immediate goal,” says Craft. “I want to assist OU students in becoming more civically engaged. So instead of two or three large events, this year we offered students a dozen options for serving the community.”

Some of the volunteer opportunities included helping socialize cats and dogs for future adoptions at Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, grounds work at the Old Depot Museum, and reading to pre-school children at the Franklin County Child Development Center. Kraft also helped organize Make A Difference Day, where OU football players and GOTCHA (Get Off the Couch and Help Another) assisted in spreading several semi-truck loads of mulch around the newly installed playground equipment at Kanza Park.

In November, Adjunct Professor Erin Laurie’s nutrition classes joined forces with Mid-America Nutrition to pack shelf-stable meals for winter distribution during stormy weather, an effort that saved the Meals on Wheels program more than $2,000.

“I hope to raise awareness of volunteerism, not only as a means of improving the campus and surrounding community but in providing opportunities to students to learn or practice new skills, apply academic knowledge outside of the classroom, and gain confidence in working with the elderly, the disabled and the youth of our community,” says Craft.