Posted February 12, 2013 by Beth Bailey 

Community Service in St. Louis

Have you volunteered today? So many of our fellow professionals in ACUI volunteer, whether you are on a Regional Leadership Team, a Conference Planning Team, or serve in any number of roles within the Association, in your community, with your school, or another agency, you are volunteering.

One thing I enjoy about volunteering is the feeling of giving back and feeling needed. When this year’s community service project team, undertook the prospect of offering community service projects, we set several goals for ourselves:

  1. We wanted to make the community service project experience as accessible as possible. We achieved this by offering both a project that would occur on the Sunday prior to the conference kick off, along with two projects during the conference.
  2. We wanted to offer both active and passive community service projects.
  3. We wanted to offer projects that “gave back” to St. Louis in some way.
  4. We wanted to offer a project involving the sorting of food or clothing.
  5. We wanted to offer a project involving children.

We are excited to offer the following active projects:

  • A Sunday morning community service project through Gateway Greening where volunteers will go to one of the 140 local community gardens/greening projects to do clean up and preparation. The volunteers will leave at 10 a.m. and return at 1 p.m. Be sure to dress appropriately for getting dirty and for the outdoors! If you have garden gloves, bring them. Garden tools will be provided.
  • A Wednesday afternoon community service project through Operation Food Search, a St. Louis area food bank that offers a weekend backpack program that gives food to children to last them through the weekend. Participants should dress comfortably in layers, wearing closed-toed shoes as we will be working in a warehouse stuffing up to 1,000 backpacks with food for 3,000–3,500 at-risk children. We will leave at Noon and return by 4 p.m.
  • A second Wednesday afternoon community service project through Gateway 180, a service that offers assistance to women and children who are homeless. Those involved will be organizing hygiene boxes and assisting with cleaning inside the shelter. You may interact with children through games and fun activities. Dress accordingly for inside work.The group will leave at Noon and return by 4 p.m. Additionally, we will be taking the personal items/toiletries collected onsite at the conference to the agency for their use.

If you can’t do the active community service projects, please consider donating to one of our passive community service projects where we will collect:

  • Backpacks (standard size with a zipper and two back straps) to be donated to a backpack program called PB & Joy through Washington University.
  • Personal items/toiletries collected for Gateway 180, a women's/children's shelter.
  • Leftover soap that the hotel donates to be recycled into new bars of soap which are given to at-risk people throughout the world.

Are you all in yet? Are you excited? Are you feeling needed yet?

Our goal is to achieve 75–100% participation from attending university representatives for the passive collection and more than 75 people total to participate in the active community service projects.

Guess what? Not only are you giving back to the community by volunteering or donating, but you will also have the chance to earn Battle of Regions points with your donations!

For more information or to register for one of these great opportunities please visit

Beth Bailey

Beth Bailey is the Assistant Director-Programs, K-State Student Union at Kansas State University.


Nice post Beth! Hopefully we will get lots of participation for both the active and passive community service projects in St. Louis!
Comment posted 02/13/2013 9:24 AM
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