As part of the University’s mission to prepare lifelong learners who make meaningful contributions to the global community, Avila University first-year students spend one of their first days on campus volunteering in the community to give back and build bonds. This year around 180 Avila students spent their day at Harvesters community food network packing 76,122 total lbs. of product which is the equivalent of about 12,500 meals. “I love the good it does the community and the bonding with the other incoming classmates,” said Tumi Musamali, a freshman from Kansas City, Missouri. “I can’t wait to come back.”
Avila students have been volunteering at Harvesters — the Community Food Network since 2003. Over the 16 years, Avila students have packed more than 1.1 million meals, including 10,000 backpack snacks for area children.
Harvesters is a regional food bank serving a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas. The food network provides food and related household products to more than 620 not-for-profit agencies including emergency food pantries, community kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes and others.
“It’s a great place to serve your community and be a part of the city,” said sophomore Ethan Lind from Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
The Community Plunge won’t be the student’s only opportunity to serve the community this year. Avila students, inspired by the University’s founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet typically volunteer more than 140,000 service and service-study hours before the academic year ends in May. “Guided by the values of our founders to serve the dear neighbor, we turn potential into purpose, build on relationships and find connections. In this way, Avila prepares students to make responsible lifelong contributions to the global community,” said Avila President Ronald Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA.