May 9, 2018
I have planted trees, painted houses, collected food, sponsored families at Christmas, walked 5Ks, bowled for kids, delivered meals, donated clothing, mentored, paid it forward, advocated, given money and my time. I’ve helped babies, teens, families and seniors. I’ve served those less fortunate and those differently abled. I have willingly helped others when I could and I have never, ever felt worse for doing it.
There has never been a single time, even suffering with sore muscles or having a hectic day, that I ever regretted helping someone else. I’ve never walked away angry or thought, “I wish I hadn’t done that.” Quite the opposite, in fact. For me, giving to others makes me grateful for what I have and thankful I have the ability to help. I always feel like I get as much in return as I give. I’m energized by service and see it as part of being a good citizen and certainly part of being a Spartan.
Every single day you can find Spartans all over this world serving in their communities. We feel a deep responsibility to make the world a better place. On April 21, Spartans from all over the globe participated in an organized Day of Service that allowed them to join their efforts and make a difference. Across the country and as far away as Hong Kong, Spartans participated in a wide range of community service projects. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Go Green. Go White. Go Serve. to see a selection of fantastic social media posts from that day.
Spartans use all sorts of skills and abilities to serve communities in different ways. Geri Alumit Zeldes, professor of journalism, uses her abilities as a filmmaker to document and bring attention to important issues like the Flint water crisis. Recently, she directed and produced “That Strange Summer,” which captured the story of two Filipino nurses who, in the 1970s, were charged with killing patients in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Check out her FACULTY VOICE: The birth of 'That Strange Summer,' to learn more about her award-winning project.
Lauren Grattan graduated last week with a communication major and public relations minor but has already used her skills to help neighborhoods. Last summer she immersed herself in Kalamazoo’s community to create engagement, conversations and brighter futures by organizing pop-up block parties with youth and police. She says, “Some children don’t have the same opportunities as others, and to help them build relationships within their community in a positive way was very humbling.” Read her STUDENT VIEW: Fostering a sense of community, to learn more about this inspiring young woman.
Katie Dudlets is another Spartan who graduated last week from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Throughout her time as a student, she says she was able to tell great stories about academic work, but more importantly, about the goodness of students and what they’ve done to empower their communities. She put together a fantastic short video that gives her perspective of her last academic year at MSU. Watch the STUDENT VIEW: Through the eyes of a graduating senior, to learn more about this talented new alumna.
Lauren and Katie are just two of the many, many students who give their time and talents to others. Just this week, we’ve published stories about Students creating an exoskeleton app to help someone with muscular dystrophy, MSU med students using their spring break to care for patients in Haiti and Cuba and Arts and Letters Citizen Scholars installing a public art piece to raise awareness of sexual assault and promote community healing.
Anne Frank once wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Clearly, Spartans don’t wait. Spartans jump in where needed, find solutions to problems, give their time freely and strive to help others. Don’t wait another moment to help those in need. I promise, you’ll never regret helping someone else. As the title of the feature says, Go Green. Go White. Go Serve. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner