Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of the Rasmussen College mission. In fact, college staffers have volunteered more than 29,000 hours of service over the past five years.
In keeping with that tradition, Rasmussen College participated in its 6th Annual Community Service Day on July 18, 2014.
Staff members at every campus nationwide spent the afternoon volunteering at local organizations within their respective communities. With this year’s theme of “Building Community through Education,” college staff volunteered at organizations that broaden and support educational initiatives.
Here are five ways the college made an impact on those communities:
1. Checked off ‘to-do’ lists at local area schools
Many of the Rasmussen College campuses looked to their local school districts for volunteer opportunities. Rasmussen College staff volunteered at more than 15 schools across four states. Whether it was cleaning out lockers, sprucing up playgrounds, or moving furniture, the Rasmussen teams helped schools clear their “To-Do” lists.
The Ocala campus organized hundreds of books at Dr. N.H. Jones Elementary, and distributed them to classrooms to prepare for the upcoming school year. To extend their volunteer work, the campus team “adopted” the school by collecting consumables for teachers to further learning initiatives throughout the school year.
The 50-strong St. Cloud campus team got down and dirty with their local school district by painting rooms, trimming trees and cleaning the auditorium. “We accomplished a lot,” St. Cloud dean Laurie Larson said. “The assistant principal was amazed at the amount of work we completed and the fun, hard-working team we have.”
2. Provided handmade blankets to children
The North Dakota campuses spent their Community Service Day bringing comfort and safety to abused children by partnering with Project Ignite the Light, a non-profit organization that provides children needed items when they are examined by their local advocacy centers. The team put their creativity and compassion to good use by making handmade blankets to provide children with something comforting during a difficult time.
“I feel touched by the impact that we did together as a team,” Fargo/Moorhead admissions manager Abbey Fetzer said. “We are fortunate to have a career that gives back to the community and the people it serves.”
3. Fed the community by packing more than 30,000 meals
Rasmussen College has big teams with even bigger hearts. Across multiple campus communities, more than 100 staff members helped to pack meals, sort through donated food items and even bag groceries at a local cost-share warehouse.
The Lake Elmo/Woodbury campus sorted through and packed more than 7,000 pounds of food in just three hours for local food pantry, Christian Cupboard. Several students also joined campus staff to volunteer their time and live the mission of Rasmussen College.
Several campuses offered their time to Feed My Starving Children, an organization that allows volunteers to hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children in nearly 70 countries around the world. Campuses in the Twin Cities metro area packed more than 30,000 meals, while the Aurora/Naperville campus packed enough meals to feed roughly 7,200 people.
“This was our first time helping Feed My Starving Children, and the team said it was the best event we’ve ever done,” Aurora/Naperville campus director Chad Knapp said. “Knowing that the work we were doing was going to benefit so many people in need made it truly rewarding. The team has already asked that we go back next year!”
4. Prepared school supplies & filled backpacks
While many campuses worked directly with schools, the Rasmussen College team also volunteered with organizations that provide those schools with needed supplies. Students and teachers are always in need of consumable school supplies, such as pencils, notebooks and markers.
The Bloomington campus teamed up with Companies to Classrooms by sorting and taking inventory of excess and donated supplies from local area business. Meanwhile, over in Illinois, the Mokena/Tinley Park campus sorted and filled more than 400 hygiene bags and organized thousands of school supplies to be delivered to more than 500 local students by partnering with My Joyful Heart.
5. Got social with #RasCommunity
The Rasmussen College teams across the country were so proud of their service, they took to social media to show off their efforts. From selfies with colleagues to team pictures, social media was alight with pictures and stories using Twitter hashtag #RasCommunity. All in all, more than 160 pictures of staff around the country were uploaded to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Blaine campus director, Patty Sagert, proudly showed off 3 years’ worth of Community Service Day commemorative T-shirts before heading off to Blaine High School to spruce up an overgrown garden.
“Our day of service really showcases the power of the Rasmussen College community of learners,” Sagert said. “Volunteering with our students, faculty, and staff is rewarding and gratifying. I am proud to work for a world-class organization that not only talks the talk but walks the walk.”
To view more pictures from Community Service Day, visit the Rasmussen College Facebook page.