Normally, speakers would fear a room filled with unreasonable people. That was not the case…
April 16 was Destiny McDonald’s favorite day of the year – NIU Cares Day.
McDonald has bee a part of the event since Student Involvement and Leadership Development initiated it 10 years ago - first as a student, then as the campus recruitment chairperson and finally, for the last four years, as chair of the entire event. Regardless of her role, she has always been excited to be a part of the event, which allows NIU students to spend a day giving back to their adopted hometown.
"So often college students don’t become a part of their college community, and NIU Cares Day gives them that opportunity," she says.
As in years past students from Greek organizations, clubs, athletic teams, residence hall floors (and just individuals interested in helping out) participated. They traveled to churches, schools, libraries, private homes, parks and all sorts of other locations to clean out storage rooms, paint, organize and, in general, just make their adopted community a better place. Their efforts make a very real difference.
“Some organizations have signed up every year, and they have really come to depend upon the work that our students do for them,” says McDonald.
This year, more than 900 students showed up to work early on a Saturday morning. There could have been more, but the organizers have made a conscious effort in recent years to limit the size of the event to ensure that every student group has the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution.
As they prepared for this year’s tenth anniversary, NIU Cares Day organizers tallied up all of the good that has been done, and came up with some very impressive numbers:
- Over 55,000 hours of service provided to the DeKalb County community
- Over 11, 000 volunteers
- Approximately 80 community partners assisted annually
- $453,750+ saved in labor wages