The official numbers are in: during the 2012-2013 academic year, more than a thousand Loras College students performed nearly 82,000 hours of service. The total surpasses last year’s record service hours of 58,000 by nearly 24,000 hours. Loras recently submitted an application for the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service, on which the College has earned a place, with distinction, since 2009.
The substantial amount of student service also supports Loras College’s DuServe effort, a campaign established to see how long it takes for Duhawks and friends of the College to report a total of 175,000 hours of service—in honor of the College’s 175th anniversary celebration. With the student hours, DuServe is currently reporting 103,000 service hours logged toward this goal.
“The value of volunteer time in the state of Iowa is currently calculated by the Independent Sector to be worth $20.93 per hour, which means since 2012 Loras College students have given over $1.7 million of their time to communities and we are still counting!” said Maggie Baker, service learning coordinator.
“We are so proud of our students’ efforts to impact their community, in partnership with other citizens in Dubuque,” said Baker. “While the numbers of hours served are impressive, it is the stories behind these numbers that illustrate who Loras College is and the place it is striving to be. Through each student, alumni and faculty/staff member and their efforts to serve, we are contributing to communities in responsible and reciprocal ways.”
Examples of students' 2012-2013 efforts include:
Over 21,000 hours served by Duhawk Dance Marathon, who recruited 362 Loras students to serve, hosted 7 family support events, traveled over 1,500 miles to and from Iowa City to visit 50 families with children in the hospital, while raising $183,912 for the Children’s Miracle Network in 2013. The students’ support for, dedication to and solidarity with families and children facing great health challenges continue each year.
Nearly 20,000 hours were served by students enrolled in community-based learning courses. Students were required, in their courses, to teach free computer workshops for senior citizens, write grants, produce videos, design public relations and marketing campaigns for non-profit organizations, tutor children, archive historical artifacts and documents, or conduct community-based research projects. Loras professors worked diligently to incorporate community-based learning into 64 courses at the College.
Interns, work study students and AmeriCorps members serving with non-profit organizations through Loras College Center for Experiential Learning-affiliated programs contributed over 20,000 hours of their time to communities by assisting clients, tutoring and mentoring children and building capacity in programs and initiatives through practicing their knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom from fields such as business, education, public relations, psychology, social work and sociology.
The remaining nearly 20,000 hours were served by athletic teams, Breitbach Thinkers and Leaders, campus ministry programs and student organizations, such as DuBuddies, OVE+R, Peace & Justice, Knights of Columbus, Daughters of Isabella, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Breaking the Silence and many more.
Updates on the Loras College DuServe initiative can be found at loras.edu/duserve.