By Ashley Festa
UIW’s annual Meet the Mission event, when students and faculty members head out into the community to lend a helping hand at several agencies around the city, celebrated five years in September.
The day of service has taken off in terms of popularity; nearly 200 students and faculty members volunteered to spend the morning pulling weeds, painting, sorting donations, housekeeping and other chores.
The day started with a spiritual send-off on campus, and then students boarded VIA Metropolitan Transit buses to travel to sites around the city. By using public transportation, students got the chance to learn more about the system and meet people who use the buses as their primary mode of travel.
Students donated smiles and a little elbow grease to nearly 20 agencies needing assistance, including Any Baby Can, Haven for Hope, Inner City Development, the Salvation Army Donation center and the Willie Velazquez Community Learning Center.
About 20 students, including nine from the university’s Honor Program, used the morning to paint hopscotch and foursquare boards on the pavement at Haven for Hope. The only disappointment of the day? The UIW students had to leave before seeing the excitement on the children’s faces as they returned from their school day.
That sense of accomplishment and generosity remains part of the mission of service instilled in the university more than a century ago through the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.