More than 500 Cardinal Stritch University students, faculty, staff, and alumni set out on Friday, April 29 to serve their community for the inaugural Stritch Service Day.
Classes were canceled for the day, and volunteers dispersed to nearly a dozen nonprofit sites in the greater Milwaukee area. Service activities ranged from pulling invasive plant species at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center to caring for infants at St. Ann’s Intergenerational Care Center to packing boxes of nonperishable food for Feeding America.
Each year, Stritch emphasizes one of its four Franciscan values – creating a caring community, showing compassion, making peace, and reverencing all creation. The value woven through the 2015-16 academic year was reverencing all creation – a theme that was embraced during the planning and implementation of Stritch Service Day.
“We, at Stritch, have the privilege of living out the legacy of our founders – the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi,” said President James P. Loftus. “Service Day was a wonderful opportunity for our students to embrace this legacy and learn and live the values that we strive to uphold.”
Stritch Service Day was organized by a collaborative planning team of students, faculty, and staff. The proposal began as a team project in a communications class and quickly evolved into a university-wide initiative.
Senior Sarah Rose Werner expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to roll up her sleeves and volunteer her time. “Stritch Service Day was dedicated to giving back to our community, and I am so happy we took the day to do this,” said Werner. “As a college student and student athlete, I have little time to volunteer. This day gave me a great opportunity to get back to doing what I love…serving others.”
The university plans to make Stritch Service Day an annual event.