Hello, everyone! My name is Liz McAllister, and I am a graduate assistant for community service in the Student Involvement & Leadership Development office at NIU.
Each year, Student Involvement & Leadership Development at NIU hosts NIU Cares Day as a way to thank the surrounding community for its support of our students throughout the year. Not only does NIU Cares Day allow students to give back to the community, but it also allows our community to showcase the work that they do, which provides students with the opportunity to become more involved with various non-profits and residents in the area.
Over the past eight years, over 10,000 students have volunteered at almost 600 projects sites and completed about 30,000 hours of community service DeKalb County. Saturday, April 12th marked the eighth year of the event and was a beautiful seventy degree day, in which over 1,200 current NIU student volunteers completed community service at over 100 projects sites in DeKalb County! Students helped local non-profit organizations and DeKalb County residents complete projects they would not have been able to complete without our students’ help. This year, projects ranged from building community gardens to benefit those who are experiencing food scarcity, to assistance with lawn care in order to beautify our community, to staffing a 5K hosted in order to benefit Cystic Fibrosis research!
For some students this is their first exposure to community service and we often see them back again the next year. For others, it’s just a continuation of the commitment they have to serving their community. For us, as NIU staff, it’s an way to showcase how amazing our students truly are.