Under the able guidance of Social Work Clubs’ Advisor Barb Kramer, Phi Alpha and the Student Social Work Association were busy again this semester volunteering in the community, fundraising, and spreading the word on important issues.
The first event the club participated in during the Fall Semester was the annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s”. The students created a team named UND Social Work Club on the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” webpage, and used it as a tool to both recruit people to join the walk and to raise money for the cause. In addition to online fundraising, they also organized a root beer float and ice cream sundae stand which raised $104 for the Alzheimer’s Association. In total, the group raised $589 to support Alzheimer’s research.
Next, students assisted the Medical Laboratory Science Club with a Blood Drive where Social Work Club/Phi Alpha members helped recruit blood donors and advertised the event. The event was a huge success and was one of the best blood drives UND has ever held! Dak-Min Blood Bank had 135 donors give 106 units of blood which greatly helped to restock their blood supply.
In October, members from the club volunteered at the St. Joseph’s “Costume Give Away,” an event where families in need can receive free Halloween costumes for their children. The event also includes games and fun activities for the children. Members helped with the Halloween activities and handed out costumes.
Once again students and faculty whipped up some delicious baked goods for the club’s annual Halloween bake sale. This year they raised $270 from the sale of tasty treats. All of the money was donated to non-profit organizations in Grand Forks. The club decided to donate the proceeds to the Third Street Clinic and Mountainbrooke. Both groups were appreciative of the donation.
In November, the club painted bowls and volunteered during the “Empty Bowls Project” event. The “Empty Bowls Project” is an event in which community members pay $15 for a painted ceramic bowl and a bowl of soup. Prior to the event, volunteers paint the bowls that are given away at the event. All of the soups are also donated, including the mayor of Grand Fork’s famous chili. The proceeds raised from the “Empty Bowls” benefit the St. Joseph’s Social Care and Thrift Store, which assists individuals in the Grand Forks community who suffer from food insecurity. During the event, Social Work Club members bussed tables and stocked the shelves with bowls.
The Social Work Club/Phi Alpha also helped the Northland’s Rescue Mission in a number of ways this semester. First, members volunteered at the Mission’s Silent Auction and Annual Banquet where they prepared tables for the banquet and assisted with the silent auction process. The next event was the Mission’s Thanksgiving, where students opened over 120 cans of cranberries and made mashed potatoes for the meal. The final event was gift-wrapping presents for the residents of the shelter, working in the Mission’s thrift store, and putting together Bags of Blessings, which are bags of necessity items.
The last volunteer event club members participated in Fall Semester was called “Santa Claus Girls.” This organization is a group of women that collects donated toys and wraps and donates them to children in need. Club members assembled present bags and delivered presents to the children’s homes. It was a lot of fun!
The clubs are currently collecting books for the organization, “Books for Africa.” The organization collects, ships, and distributes books to children of all ages in Africa. In addition, the club worked to inform UND students and social work members of a number of individual volunteer opportunities in which they could participate.
To encourage and increase member participation this year, the officers have developed a raffle ticket system in which members receive two raffle tickets per hour of volunteering and one ticket for attending a club meeting. At the end of each month, the officers drew a ticket and the member whose ticket was drawn won a $15 gift certificate to either Walmart or Target.
In an effort to raise money to help defray the cost of the annual Social Work Spring Banquet, officers also provided students the opportunity to buy Social Work apparel. One popular shirt that was sold stated, “I survived Quinn’s Research Class.” As most Social Work students who have taken Dr. Quinn’s class know, it is a difficult class! Club members are also looking into other fundraisers that we will launch next semester.
This Spring, Club members will be planning and coordinating the Spring Banquet for Social Work students, faculty, and staff. In February, a Valentine’s Bake Sale is planned. Finally, members will continue to volunteer in the community as well as plan a few fun events. It’s sure to be another great semester!