Hamline News

More than 400 new Hamline students spent the day before classes volunteering


 We already know one thing about Hamline’s class of 2014; they’re not afraid of a little hard work. The day before starting classes, the incoming class of first-year students fanned out across the Twin Cities and spent the morning volunteering at more than 20 non-profit organizations as part of a program called City Serve.

“Volunteering is important to me because I’m part of this community now,” first-year student Abby Smith said. “If you want to make it a better place you have to be willing to help.”

Hamline’s Office of Service Learning and Volunteerism coordinates the day’s activities which range from visiting with senior citizens and assisting children on their first day of kindergarten to sorting through donated goods at area food shelves and doing upkeep at organizations that help the homeless.

“We rely heavily on volunteer groups to get some of these projects done,” Anna Meyer of the Metro Homeless Youth Programs said. “It’s very helpful to us because we don’t have the money to be able to pay staff to do all of this work.”

Service-learning is an important element to the liberal arts curriculum at Hamline. Students not only study issues of social justice and public service in the classroom, they put that knowledge into action in the local community and beyond.  As an introduction to the process, students take a seminar class in their first semester focusing on an issue they are interested in and then see how they can make a difference through different activities, such as  volunteering.

“When you look around and see people who are less fortunate, you feel the need to help out,” first-year student Charlie Phenow said. “I think I’ll be fairly involved in volunteering at Hamline because it’s a way to give back to your community.”

To see the students at work in one of the volunteer locations, click here. For more on the service-learning at Hamline, click here.