WMU News

Student volunteers take over community streets Saturday

April 8, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The Kalamazoo community will benefit from nearly 3,000 hours of volunteer work Saturday, April 12, when some 700 Western Michigan University students pour "Into the Streets" to volunteer on a variety of projects from neighborhood cleanup and beautification to potting flowers with residents in an assisted living facility.

Sponsored this year by State Farm Insurance, Into the Streets is organized by Student Volunteer Services in WMU's Lee Honors College, in collaboration with the Greek community as part of the annual Greek Week celebration. Held in honor of National Youth Service Day, the volunteer program matches student organizations with community agencies that need large groups for one-day projects. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, students will donate their time to 20 area organizations.

"Students give back to the community in many ways every day, but Spring Into the Streets is a chance to make a major statement," says Kristi Zimmerman-Frost, coordinator of student volunteer services. "Our students care about making Southwest Michigan a better place, and I'm always impressed with their dedication to this event."

As part of its ongoing partnership with the University, State Farm is offering funding to several local agencies participating in the event, as well as providing T-shirts and refreshments for event participants.

"State Farm became involved with "Into the Streets" as a result of our commitment to Western Michigan University and Southwest Michigan," says State Farm Agent Troy Weldon, who is heading the Kalamazoo sponsorship effort along with Agent Ty Kelley. "Youth involvement in community-based service projects fits well with our mission 'to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams.' State Farm is proud to be a national presenting sponsor of National Youth Service Day and we are honored to be participating in activities with the University in the Kalamazoo area."

Unless otherwise noted, all volunteer activities will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sites, tasks and the WMU groups serving them include:

Arcadia Neighborhood--cleanup and beautification projects, Campus Christian Fellowship;

Big Brothers Big Sisters, 605 Howard St.--parking lot repaving and outside cleanup, Delta Gamma;

Boys and Girls Club of Kalamazoo, 915 Lake St.--activities with children, 9 a.m. to noon, Alpha Omicron Pi;

Comstock Community Center, 6330 King Highway--painting, Campus Christian Fellowship;

Edison Neighborhood--cleanup and beautification projects, approximately 200 volunteers from Sigma Phi Epsilon, Alpha Phi, Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Chi, Alpha Tau Omega and Phi Sigma Pi;

First Presbyterian Health Clinic, 321 W. South St.--cleaning, Alpha Sigma Phi;

The Hilltoppers, WMU Prospect Hill, East Campus--cleanup on historic Prospect Hill, Sigma Pi, Interfraternity Council and Western Panhellenic Council;

Housing Resources Inc. Family Shelter, 917 S. Westnedge Ave.--cleanup, Eta Eta Sigma and Alpha Omega;

Kalamazoo Child Abuse/Neglect Council, various sites--Lambda Chi Alpha and Alpha Sigma Pi;

Kalamazoo Handicappers United--private home and warehouse cleanup, Sigma Lambda Gamma;

Kalamazoo YMCA, 1001 Maple St.--general cleanup, Alpha Omicron Pi;

Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services--neighborhood cleanup, Delta Gamma;

Ministry With Community, 440 N. Church St.--outdoor cleanup, Gamma Theta Upsilon;

New Genesis Inc., 1340 Cobb St.--painting, Sigma Chi;

Oakwood Neighborhood--cleanup and beautification projects, Chi Omega;

Park Place Assisted Living, 4222 S. Westnedge Ave.--potting flowers with residents, Beta Alpha Psi;

Partners Building Community, Gordon Water Systems, 618 E. Crosstown Parkway--cleanup, Alpha Phi Omega;

Portage Community Outreach Center, 7130 S. Westnedge Ave.--cleaning and sealing the entrance way deck, Alpha Eta Rho;

Stuart Area Restoration--cleanup and beautification projects, Alpha Omicron Pi; and

Vine Neighborhood--cleanup and beautification projects, Alpha Xi Delta.

MEDIA ADVISORY--Members of the media who wish to interview or photograph student volunteers are welcome to go directly to the sites listed in this release. However, to confirm times and locations, they are encouraged to call Kristi Zimmerman Frost at (269) 387-3230 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week or to attend the Saturday morning kick-off event between 9 and 10 a.m. at WMU's Goldsworth Valley Pond.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400