By Bailey Musselman '18
More than 100 students from Knox College and other schools spent their Saturday restoring a cemetery, sorting clothing, and volunteering throughout the Galesburg community and on the Knox campus during the College's Day of Service.
The Kleine Center for Community Service and service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega (APO) sponsored the annual event, which took place on April 22. That also was the same day as Knox's Earth Day celebration, as well as APO's Trisectionals, where Knox hosted APO members from neighboring colleges and universities, who volunteered with the Knox students.
Students donated their time and talents on campus and at different locations in Galesburg, including the Purple Hanger, Knox Prairie Community Kitchen (KPCK), Hope Cemetery, and Discovery Depot Children's Museum.
Keegan Dohm '16 works for the Kleine Center as the AmeriCorps VISTA and was in charge of planning this year's Day of Service.
Service is "a great way to go out and get to know Galesburg in a different way than you do from being a student," said Dohm. "It's a way to be helpful in the community, too. Last year, I started volunteering at KPCK, and that was the reason I ended up staying here to do this AmeriCorps VISTA job."
During her time at Knox, Dohm volunteered frequently through her participation in Alpha Phi Omega, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Honor Board, String Ensemble, and sports teams.
One of the Day of Service participants was Patricia Neri '19, who volunteered at Hope Cemetery.
"It helped me to make a good connection with Galesburg and with other Knox students. I don't think there was a better way I could have spent Earth Day. It was a very meaningful experience." said Neri.
The Kleine Center has a Day of Service each term and pursues innovative ideas to get students participating in volunteer events throughout the school year. Starting with Explore & Engage in the fall, the center encourages students to volunteer at several places within the Galesburg community.
Last spring, for example, the center planned a Harry Potter-themed "magical" day of service, which brought children to campus to act as wizards for the day. Knox students volunteered to help the children with their acts of wizardry, including crafting wands and magic potions.