Bradley University students volunteer with agencies in “Service on Saturday” program

More than 130 Bradley University students will volunteer with local social service groups on Saturday as participants in the University’s new “Service on Saturday” program started this semester.

The Lewis J. Burger Center at Bradley started the “Service on Saturday” program with a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation of Central Illinois. One Saturday each month, student participants select one of several service opportunities to complete three hours of community service. The program offers students service-learning opportunities that familiarize them with a variety of community service providers and their needs. Already this semester the events have provided more than 825 hours of service to 19 different Peoria area service projects.

“By making service more accessible to our students, we have seen their civic engagement increase and their desire to volunteer grow,” said Katie McGinn, Director of the Burger Center. “More than 98% of all Service on Saturday participants feel that they have positively impacted the Peoria community and have expressed a desire to continue volunteering through future Service on Saturday events.”

Service on Saturday is coordinated by SERVE, a new student organization focused on promoting volunteerism among Bradley students. The program is funded by a grant from the Thomas and Ellen Foster Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

The Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service was established in 1996 to educate and prepare Bradley students to be committed and effective leaders in their careers, families, and communities by providing leadership development programs and service learning opportunities.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, Bradley students raised approximately $192,000 for more than 75 different charities and gave more than 47,000 hours of volunteerism and service. Bradley students also donated more than 6,500 articles of clothing, 2,500 cans of food, and 840 pints of blood.

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