Latest Alumni News

SERVE-ing Up Community Service on CHAMP Day

Posted by:

SERVE-ing Up Community Service on CHAMP Day

“Strengthening ties with Duluth and its surrounding communities in an intentional, visible, and mutually beneficial partnership” is Goal 5 of UMD’s strategic plan. On April 13, alumni, students, and UMD faculty and staff can help UMD take strides toward meeting this goal by lending a hand at Connecting Hopes with Action to Mobilize People (CHAMP) Day of Service. The UMD Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to join our project team.

CHAMP Day of Service is when alumni, students, faculty and staff participate in volunteer projects throughout the Greater Duluth area. CHAMP Day of Service began as a part of Chancellor Black’s request for a Day of Service during Inauguration Week Activities in March of 2011. Dozens of community organizations participated in this event to complete needed projects for their agencies. To date, CHAMP Day of Service has mobilized 621 volunteers resulting in 1,739 hours of service. According to the Independent Sector, the value of a volunteer hour in Minnesota for 2011 is $21.79, which totals $37,892.81 contributed in service to the greater Duluth community in one day in both 2011 and 2012.

CHAMP Day of Service is organized through the Office of Civic Engagement on UMD’s campus and sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor. Erin Zoellick, community engagement specialist in the Office of Civic Engagement, has high hopes for the third year.“We are always looking to increase participation from all parties involved, from faculty and staff, students, everyone.” Their efforts bolstered participation in its second year, and the same hope goes toward its third. “This year we have been able to garner a few projects that focus on flood relief and repair (following the June 2012 flood), and we’ve been really encouraged by the growing anticipation of this event. People on campus and also community organizations started asking about the 2013 CHAMP Day many months ago, so it’s positive feedback for us that people are interested and excited about it.”

This year, 21 organizations are offering service projects on April 13. The countdown clock on the Office of Civic Engagement’s event page states there are 21 days to go before this planned day of community service. Groups involved are Aftenro Homes, the Boys and Girls Club Goldberg Family Branch, the Lake Superior Zoo, Safe Haven Shelter for Battered Women, and many more. See a listing of all the groups involved with CHAMP Day of Service.

Michelle Hargrave, Director of the Office of Civic Engagement, advises Students Engaged in Rewarding Volunteer Experience (SERVE) which is a student led volunteer group on the UMD campus that volunteers on and off campus throughout the school year. Some activities they participate in include volunteering at Animal Allies Humane Society, assembling care kits for local shelters, and volunteering at the Lake Superior Zoo. Any and all students are welcome to join and volunteer. SERVE has also supported CHAMP Day of Service with people power in all three years of the event.

It’s easy to see how the two groups work well together. Getting involved with volunteering as a student only fuels the fire to continue community services after graduation. “At the end of the event, we hope participants feel inspired to continue serving their communities the rest of the year,” said Hargrave. “Students especially notice when staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni are at the event, too. It helps demonstrate that service can be given by anyone, anytime.”

The 2013 CHAMP Day of Service

Registration is now open! You can view projects offered by community organizations on the registration website. Groups and individuals are welcome to register. UMD students, staff, faculty, administration and alumni are all encouraged to participate, and we sure hope you get involved. Please consider joining the UMD Alumni Association team or form one of your own. Email for more information and to sign up for the alumni project.

Already set to register yourself or your team? Head on over to the CHAMP Day of Service registration site!

Location and Rally
This year, all participants will gather in the Ward Wells Field House on UMD’s campus on the morning of April 13 where a check-in and rally will be held before groups and individuals head off into the community to tackle their projects.

Participants will take a bus to most project locations. Have questions? Please contact Erin Zoellick in the Office of Civic Engagement at 218-726-6355.