KCC students, employees volunteer at Charitable Union in Battle Creek

Bruins Give Back participants pose for a group photo at the Charitable Union.

Nearly three dozen Kellogg Community College students and employees volunteered at the Charitable Union in Battle Creek last month as part of the College’s first Bruins Give Back event of the Spring 2020 semester.

A campus-wide service initiative of the College’s Service-Learning office, Bruins Gives Back brings KCC students and employees together in service through volunteering. The event is held from 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays up to three times per semester at locations in and around Battle Creek.

The latest Bruins Give Back event was held Feb. 21 at the Charitable Union, a nonprofit organization that provides clothes, bedding and other resources freely to individuals in need via donations distributed at their facility at 85 Calhoun St.

Integrative Learning Director Kate DeGraaf said that KCC volunteers assisted the Charitable Union with many tasks during the event, including:

  • Sorting baby clothes by size and type for care packages that the organization gives to new mothers
  • Building shelving units to be utilized around the organization’s building
  • Organizing inventory and items displayed on the main floor, where individuals come to pick out items they may need

DeGraaf said it was a wonderful event where students were able to serve, build community and learn about community resources while working together through positive action.

“It was great to see the joy on all the faces as they organized clothes and asked questions about how they could continue to give back to Charitable Union,” DeGraaf said. “Our students were also able to reflect on their future careers and how they would use this experience.”

DeGraaf said some of the College’s Nursing Program students participated in the event, and were able to learn about how they could share the resources available at the Charitable Union at their job and with their future patients.

Sierra Thurmond, a student worker in the Integrative Learning Department at KCC, said the event will be one to remember.

“It was amazing to see so many people come together and work for such a great cause,” Thurmond said. “I loved seeing so many students from all age ranges working as one for a common goal, to help the Charitable Union.”

All KCC students and employees are invited to serve at Bruins Give Back events. Future Spring 2020 Bruins Give Back dates include:

  • Friday, March 20
  • Friday, April 24

All participants receive a free Bruins Give Back T-shirt.

For more information about the Charitable Union, visit www.charitableunion.org. For more information about Bruins Give Back and other service-learning initiatives at KCC, visit www.kellogg.edu/service-learning.

About Service-Learning at KCC

Service-learning at KCC is an initiative of the College’s Integrative Learning Department, which is dedicated to experiential learning. KCC began offering service-learning endorsements on graduate diplomas in 2010. Beginning in 2012, a service-learning endorsement requiring at least 15 hours of service-learning experience tied to an academic course and reflection activities became a requirement for every KCC graduate pursuing a degree outside of the applied sciences. Now hundreds of KCC students serve thousands of hours in their communities each semester as part of their service-learning studies. To date, 4,442 service-learning endorsements have been earned by KCC graduates, and 343 service-learning endorsements were earned during the 2018-19 academic year alone.

Pictured above, Bruins Give Back participants pose of a group photo while serving at the Charitable Union in February. Photo by Kate DeGraaf.

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