LSOP sponsors 175 students in service
By Kayla Pearson
Assistant News Editor
On March 29, 175 students scattered across Pembroke, Lumberton, Laurinburg, Raeford and Hamlet offered their hand of service to the community in the first annual campus wide Day of Service.
Sixteen teams registered for placement to volunteer at one of the 19 sites.
The teams consisted of fraternities, sororities, clubs and groups of friends.
Individuals also signed up to be placed on the LSOP team.
Each site was significantly different. Whether at the homeless shelter, roadside cleanup or the rape crisis center, students gave it their all and enjoyed the experience.
“We actually had fun,” said sophomore Jessica Oxendine.
“I did landscaping [and] planted flowers, shrubs and trees for Habitat for Humanity,” she continued.
“A lot of people [said] they wanted to do it again,” Oxendine added.
At the end of the day, the campus rewarded students with a cookout and free t-shirts.
Students were able to recap on their day and share experiences.
One problem organizers ran into was people backing out after committing, but some last minute sign ups stepped in to fill the gaps.
Several organizations accomodated LSOP by switching work sites at the last minute and teaming up to help meet the quota.
“It’s difficult because some organizations want everyone to sign up and make it mandatory but students back out,” AmeriCorps VISTA Catie Dearborn said.
“Sites have a set number they want to volunteer, so we want to provide as many volunteers as we can,” Dearborn said.
Overall, it was agreed that this day was a reward not just for students but for the community.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for students to serve the community,” said sophomore LaShonda Payne.
“It puts the myth to rest that UNCP doesn’t volunteer,” said Director of Center for Leadership and Service Aubrey Swett.
“Walls will fall down between the university and community and events like this will dispel those disbeliefs about the university,” he continued.
Chancellor Allen Meadors has proclaimed the last Saturday in March to be day of service day, so the event will continue annually.
The hope is for students to continue to volunteer and share their experiences with friends
and family, which will motivate them to volunteer, according to Dearborn.
“Next year people will know what it is,” she said. “Hopefully faculty will get involved,” Dearborn said.