As many Keene State College students know, doing community service is one of those anomalies that can help a lot of people around them, but for some reason doesn’t have the best reputation among the Keene community. Junior and Vice President of Circle K, Becca Lazinsk, is no stranger to community service work. She believes that students going out and taking time from their hectic schedules to volunteer is essential to personal growth and is something that students can do outside of an academic environment.
“It opens your eyes to things outside your college bubble,” Lazinsk said.
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Circle K is a volunteer-based group where students can participate in various activities such as volunteering at “Fast Friends” every other Friday, where students can walk abused greyhounds, and working with children who have life-threatening diseases at “Camp Sunshine.” In this volunteer project alone, there are over 50 members that participate. Another event in which students can volunteer is the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute Social (KPTI), hosted by the Westfield Circle K group. At this event, students decorate socks and sew trauma dolls, which are used by doctors for children who have been physically abused.
Circle K is a great program because it not only offers these programs, but a wide variety of subjects in which many students can participate. They range anywhere from food drives, fundraising for different organizations, and any other type of volunteer work. The importance of volunteering is that it’s something that anyone can do outside of school and is just as rewarding to help those less fortunate.
Circle K’s next events will be a gift-wrapping event on Monday, Dec. 5 until Tuesday, Dec. 13 where they will be wrapping students’ gifts and accepting donations towards the Eliminate Project, which is a group to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, according to the Eliminate Project’s website. Also, they will be having a costume and coat donation where students can drop off their winter coats, which will then be donated to the Hundred Nights Shelter, and costumes, which will go to Camp Sunshine.
Another prominent group on campus that is well known for its sometimes alternative community service is the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE).
Junior and Vice President of TKE Tyler Nadwairski, has had a very positive outlook on community service work. All of the donations and time spent on servicing the community through their philanthropy sector goes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
One event in particular that stood out to the KSC community was their “Bras for Breast Cancer.” All of the TKE brothers wore bras to raise awareness about breast cancer and brought in over $100. This method of fundraising was unique to KSC because it’s something that no one sees on a daily basis. The brothers’ focus was to catch the attention of students and have more people question their methods in order to spread their message.
“It’s good to give time to the people that need help,” Nadwairski said.
Other ways that TKE got involved with the community was volunteering during cleanup during Pumpkin Lobotomy and Pumpkin Fest. The brothers went around town doing trash duty, replacing all of the trash cans, and throwing away smashed pumpkins.
For next semester, TKE will hold its annual “TKE Sweetheart” contest, which is a charity beauty pageant that any student can apply to. This is not only a local event that happens just at KSC, but is a national competition where students can win scholarships and other educational opportunities, and like all of the other events, all of the money donated will be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Although TKE is known as a fraternity that has tons of “ragers” and likes to mess around, that’s not what it’s really about. “We like to have fun, but it’s not everything we’re about,” Nadwairski stressed.
The brothers are truly focused on having a significant impact not only on the KSC community, but throughout the city of Keene.
Helping others in and around your community will always be of importance. Even though doing something small to help someone may not seem like much at all, if everyone participates and does their part, then the much needed change in the community will take effect and have a significant outcome for everyone.
Jason Abisch can be contacted at email@example.com