By Ru Fletcher
National Day of Service is a day when students give back to the community in celebration of a man who gave everything for our country; Martin Luther King Jr. Since students get a day off, the Student Government Association (SGA) organizes an event every year that gives the Craven Community College student body an opportunity to help the community as a cohesive unit.
The SGA Vice-President Olivia Brautigam organized this year’s Day of Service. Olivia is graduating this spring with both an Associate in Arts as well as an Associate in Science. She contacted Colonial Capital Humane Society to see if they would let the students come and volunteer for a day. Colonial Capital Humane Society has come on campus in the past to help with an event at the end of term called “Pet the Stress Away” where they bring out puppies, and dogs for the students to cuddle and play with between their stressful exams. Olivia knew it was the perfect choice because “They come and help us pet the stress away, so we went and took some stress away from them.”
During hurricane Florence the humane society, like so many others, sustained damage and became set back on a number of projects which were important to the efficiency of their work. Between 40 and 50 students of all ages showed up to help clean and organize office spaces, kitchen spaces, and storage facilities, but they didn’t stop there. The students were happy to clean out the living spaces of the animals, do laundry, wash every sort of dish (ranging from dog bowls to litter boxes), organize supplies, walk dogs, and play with cats. What’s more is that they took pictures of a few animals to advertise for their adoption. The wonderful thing about the Colonial Capital Humane Society is that they are keeping animals safe until their future family can get to them.
The Tiny Tornado food truck came out to serve the students who came to help their community. While the National Day of Service was still in its planning stages, Rocky Gonzales (the Public Information Officer of the SGA) posted an advertisement on Facebook for the event, with a surprising response. Rebecca Harmon, owner of the Tiny Tornado food truck, reached out to the Campus Life Department at Craven CC and offered to bring out food for those who volunteered that day. Not only did they provide a free meal for the workers, but they also offered a meal that was simple, fast, and allergen conscious along with vegetarian options. The way the community came together was truly incredible.
A great deal of student volunteers were also from Craven CC Early College’s Junior Civitan Club. Emily Stewart, Craven CC’s Campus Life Coordinator, was extremely proud of how the students organized, led, and participated in this service event. Since the temperatures were right around freezing on Martin Luther King Junior Day, she moved the event to the Saturday prior, in order to avoid issues with weather.
There are no better words than Emily’s to sum up this event, “It was a great opportunity to give back to an organization that has given so much to us.”
(C. Ruth Fletcher is a student at Craven Community College finishing up her Associate in Science. When she graduates in Spring 2019 she hopes to transfer to a four-year university and continue her pursuit of pre-med. While at Craven CC she has been a part of the SGA for two consecutive terms, SEAS, C-STEP, and the Honors Program. She is always busy, but loves all the experiences she’s been given here at Craven CC.)