Moraine Valley Community College faculty and staff were out in full force providing service to local organizations as part of the college’s fourth Community Learning Day.
“Community Learning Day allows us to give back to the communities that support the college and the people we serve,” said Dr. Kristine Christensen, director of Faculty Development and a member of the Community Learning Day steering committee. “People have commented they appreciate the ability to give back to the community, and they feel good at the end of the day because their contributions helped an organization within our community,” she said.
Faculty and staff spent time at The Bridge Teen Center, Elsie’s Food Pantry, Catholic Charities, the City of Palos Hills, Willow Woods, Sagawau Environmental Center, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, My Joyful Heart, Ronald McDonald House in Oak Lawn, Animal Welfare League, Sertoma Centre, St. Coletta’s of Illinois, Together We Cope, Holy Family Villa, McClaughrey Spring Woods, Lake Katherine and New Beginnings. Staff members also worked on campus with representatives from the Cook County Forest Preserve District, Sertoma Centre and New Star.
Lynn Doulas, Bookstore coordinator and team leader for the onsite visit to the Sertoma Centre, said it was a fulfilling day. “Seeing and working with all of the people there was just so very inspiring. There was a lot of laughing and having fun together—made me so very proud of this group.”
One of the staff members to help at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Rick Caldwell, secretary and curriculum assistant in Academic Services, sorted bulk food to distribute throughout Cook County. “I really enjoyed the day,” he said. “It is eye-opening to take a step back and think about how many helpful people work to make sure these resources get out to people in need. I’m proud I could do my part,” he said.
A group of consumers from New Star, an organization devoted to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, spent time at Moraine Valley, where they learned about employment opportunities and made items with college staff to be sold at an upcoming New Star event. Pat Trebe, director of Development and Community Relations, said her group was thrilled about their time at Moraine Valley. “They got so much out of this outing and loved seeing the beautiful campus.”
Purchasing assistant Ellen Malliaras spent time in the woods at Lake Katherine. “It’s a nonprofit with limited employees so I felt like we were really able to help them accomplish something in a shorter amount of time than they otherwise would have been able to do this. It was so rewarding,” she said.
(Photo caption: Lending a hand at the Catholic Charities food pantry in St. Blase Church in Summit, are (from left) Tom Houlihan, supervisor of Building Services; Rick Hendricks, vice president of Administrative Services; and Bill Finn, director of Athletics and Health Education and Wellness Center.)