Mission possible

Mission+possible

Photo credit/ Ann O'Brien

Riki Schwalb, Leandra Morris, Lauren Olsen, Elizabeth MacNeal, all Maxis-Gillet Scholarship recipients and Service Leaders, pose with water collected to help flood relief victims. This collection is just one of the several ongoing service efforts in which members of the Marywood community are engaged.

Wood Word Editorial Board

Need has never been greater in our communities, especially as we approach the holiday season amid a depressed economy.

True to its mission of service, Marywood University continually answers the call of those in need of help in these difficult times. As a result, a sometimes overwhelming number of fundraisers and charitable events are constantly in motion each semester, presenting challenges for those who wish to participate.

Financially, contributing to all of the efforts has the potential to put a strain on students, faculty and staff. Logistically, it also has the potential to become a challenge when trying to coordinate work and school schedules around the many volunteer opportunities.

Furthermore, faculty, staff and students are often bombarded with email messages about these various opportunities, leading to information overload as well as apathy.

According to Ann O’Brien, assistant director for service-learning and community service, the office of Campus Ministry works to diversify the various charitable opportunities. “Every fundraiser Campus Ministry runs has a different goal and we have always met our goal,” said O’Brien.

In addition to the charitable efforts of campus ministry, several other departments, clubs, athletic teams and outside agencies such as the United Way and Meals on Wheels also tug also tug at the community’s time and purse-strings. Currently there are at least 14 volunteer opportunities available to member of the Marywood community.

Certainly, efforts to aid our community are worthwhile and noteworthy and should be continued. The is no easy solution to minimize the stewardship components of time, talent and treasure. However, the opportunities could be communicated to the community in a more effective and efficient manner.

Marywood can remedy this issue by collaborating efforts between clubs, organizations, and events in order to lighten the burden on the campus community. This would also aid in achieving similar goals through shared resources. Fundraisers may be better arranged and organized by using social networking sites such as Facebook or newsletters strictly dedicated to fundraising.

The community’s efforts can be condensed to a dedicated email which lists the opportunities on campus in order to reduce multiple emails; this would also reduce the number of ignored emails. Marywood encourages us to provide services to the community, but we need to act more as a community to provide these services to those in need.

Rather than each individual group or organization sending out an email blast, perhaps Campus Ministry or some other campus organization could coordinate an once-per-week notification system that encompasses all available opportunities , similar to the “Dean’s Weekly Announcements” or the “Campus Ministry Announcements.”

“Every fundraiser Campus Ministry runs has a different goal and we have always met our goal. We have been at this long enough to know what works. Generally, students acquire sponsors through local businesses to make monetary donations. We diversify our efforts with small efforts such as our basket raffle to acquire other monetary funds.” O’Brien says that there may be a conflict of schedules in the spring due to service trip fund raising. She also states that there is no shortage of participants or rise in need than in the past for services. According to O’Brien there are six fundraisers or service opportunities available to students or in the works.

Have fundraisers and charities overwhelmed donators and service participants due to conflicts in their efforts? Marywood University encourages its community to be active members in efforts to aid others in their time of need. Marywood makes it a priority to communicate with other departments and committees to schedule their efforts so no conflicts occur.

Marywood University describes participating in service in their core values, “The deep belief that learning and scholarship serve the global community, that there is value in the diverse types of work that support that service, and in the preparation of students for leadership by participation in service.”

However, although there may be no conflict in the schedule of events and committees make it a priority to not tackle the same effort more then once, students may feel overwhelmed by the need of donations and volunteers. Currently there are at least 14 opportunities available to students on Marywood’s campus. Some of which run year round like Campus Ministry’s coffee and chocolate sale which provides funds for service trips.

According to Ann O’Brien, Assistant Director for Service-Learning and Community Service, “every fundraiser Campus Ministry runs has a different goal and we have always met our goal. We have been at this long enough to know what works. Generally, students acquire sponsors through local businesses to make monetary donations. We diversify our efforts with small efforts such as our basket raffle to acquire other monetary funds.” O’Brien says that there may be a conflict of schedules in the spring due to service trip fund raising. She also states that there is no shortage of participants or rise in need than in the past for services. According to O’Brien there are six fundraisers or service opportunities available to students or in the works.

However, Campus Ministry is not the only department or committee organizing events. The Student Activities Crew is hosting eight different events through December for students, all of which do not revolve around donations but, require students to make a choice of which to attend. Student Activities Crew hosts events that are more social in nature and enable students to gather and have fun. Some of these events include trips to Dorney Park and New York City, movie nights, and bonfires.

Also there are a variety of different departments, individuals, and community wide programs and projects that actively present themselves around campus. Some of these activities include holiday projects, blood drives, and field trip fund raising. With the over abundance of all of these activities, it makes it difficult for students to make an informed decision on what to partake in.

Gale Tompson, Social Work major, 2013, said “Marywood allows us to donate our time in many events, but that also makes it difficult to choose all of the activities I want to do at one time. With my class schedule and various events happening at one time it makes it very difficult to participate in many activities.”

It’s apparent that Marywood has put great effort into providing students with a variety of extracurricular activities and service opportunities, however, the variety of choices makes it difficult for students to manage the overload of commitments. Many students feel the added pressure of these responsibilities and may not place their focus on their academics as a result. On the other hand students may over commit to extracurricular and service opportunities which may lead them to dropping those activities.

Marywood can remedy this issue by collaborating efforts between clubs, organizations, and events in order to lighten the burden on students. This would also aid in achieving similar goals through shared resources. Fundraisers may be better arranged and organized by using social networking sites such as Facebook or newsletters strictly dedicated to fundraising. The communities’ efforts can be condensed to a dedicated email which lists the opportunities on campus in order to reduce multiple emails; this would also reduce the number of ignored emails. Marywood encourages us to provide services to the community, but we need to act more as a community to provide services.