Serving with a Purpose
Missouri State students serve the community
Missouri State University students donate a substantial amount of time to the community. Since the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year, students under university scholarships, students in
Fraternity and Sorority Life organizations, and students in First-Year Foundations courses, have completed over 13,000 hours of community service. In the 2015-2016 academic year, those student groups completed over 93,000 hours of community service.
With these kinds of numbers, Missouri State students have the potential to make a significant impact on the Springfield community. As students head out to complete community service hours, something for them to consider is how their time spent serving can have the greatest impact.
Issues facing Northwest Springfield
As a part of the University’s commitment to community engagement, students are encouraged to take an active role in contributing to their community. In the four or more years that students attend Missouri State University, students are a part of not only the campus community, but also the Springfield community. Missouri State University, and the Center for Community Engagement, want to help the community through utilizing the students to serve in a meaningful way that will help meet the needs of the community they are a part of.
Because of various reports and initiatives including the Community Focus Report and Community Listen meetings, we now know the issues facing Springfield. These reports helped the community realize not only the issues facing Springfield, but also the fact that Northwest Springfield that was the zone that was struggling most. The following are some of the issues Northwest Springfield, or Zone 1, is facing.
- Food Access
- Digital Access
- Chronic Nuisance Properties
- Jobs and Economic Development
- Public Safety
- Infrastructure and Transportation
Moving forward, initiatives across Springfield have developed in an effort to meet the needs of Northwest Springfield some of these include the 18-month Zone Blitz initiative, as well as the Northwest Project, a 5-year initiative led by a partnership made by Missouri State University, The Drew Lewis Foundation, and Drury University.
What does this mean for students?
Students can use this information to make their service to the community count. There are a variety of ways for students to get involved with the efforts to revitalize the Northwest Springfield zone. Students can start by serving the community following the principles outlined by the Zone Blitz.
- We will work alongside the community, rather than imposing projects or actions onto the neighborhoods or present as if “we” are trying to help “them.”
- Our focus will be resident-centric, meaning that every decision will take into account the wants and needs of the residents first and foremost.
- We will focus on systemic, sustainable change.
- We will recruit/create new leaders in the community.
- We will measure and publicize results.
- We will find ways to incentivize participation (through education and/or $)
Information from: https://www.springfieldmo.gov/2794/Zone-Blitz
Students can also look out for opportunities to work with these initiatives through volunteer opportunities that come available on the Community Opportunities weekly newsletter, and by keeping an eye out for the Missouri State Public Affairs Signature Service Project November 14th-18th that will focus on the issues facing Northwest Springfield.
Finally, students can utilize an exciting new volunteer resource called Give Pulse. Give Pulse will be the primary location for posted volunteer needs for Northwest Springfield initiative.
To sign up:
- Visit www.givepulse.com.
- In the upper right corner, click Sign Up.
- After signing up for an account, click on Get Involved.
- Search for volunteer opportunities in Springfield zip codes.
- Review opportunities to get involved and sign up for the ones that interest you.
Senior Public Relations Major
Student Specialist for Marketing and Service Hours in the Center for Community Engagement