Student Volunteer Club Builds a Better Community

Lake Elmo-Woodbury Volunteer Club members

Each week, a group of Rasmussen College students meet at the Lake Elmo/Woodbury campus – not to study or work on a class project (they already do that), but rather to brainstorm ways to give back to their community. They call themselves the Lake Elmo/Woodbury Volunteer Club, and that’s exactly what they do. They volunteer their time, whether it’s going out in the community and participating in service projects or collecting donations for people in need

“I’ve always wanted to volunteer,” said Brian Sager, Rasmussen College School of Education student and one of the founding members of the LE/W Volunteer Club. “Last summer, I saw a flyer on campus asking for students to join this new volunteer club, and I thought ‘that’s perfect.’”

Sager wasn’t alone. Jessica Voreis and Kaite Lodge were also looking for ways to give back to their community. Together, Sager, Voreis and Lodge launched the LE/W Volunteer Club in July and with their leadership, the club has already successfully completed four volunteer projects within just a few months.

“Their dedication and focus is impressive,” said Jeremy Barthels, Rasmussen College School of Health Sciences Instructor. “The club is strong because of them.”

Barthels is one of the club’s mentors. He helps the student volunteers market and advertise their service projects, as well as come up with volunteer opportunities when needed. With the help of the Lake Elmo/Woodbury Teaching and Learning Committee, Barthels came up with the idea for a student-led volunteer club on campus. So far, about five students have joined the club.

“I personally try to do as much volunteer work as I can,” said Barthels. “I work part time as a chiropractor and often provide free or reduced services. I wanted to bring that volunteerism to our campus.”

There are many benefits to volunteering. Barthels says the student volunteers are getting experience organizing and leading a club, as well as boosting their resume. Here are some other benefits of volunteering from the United Way.

  • Make important networking contacts
  • Learn or develop skills
  • Teach your skills to others
  • Gain work experience
  • Build self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Improve your health
  • Meet new people
  • Feel needed and valued
  • Express gratitude for help you may have received in the past from an organization
  • Communicate to others that you are ambitious, enthusiastic and care about the community
  • Make a difference in someone’s life

That last bullet is why Lodge says she loves volunteering the most. It’s the reason she helped clean up the Lake Elmo Park Reserve – the volunteer club’s first service project. She also helped spearhead a food drive on campus for the Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf in Woodbury, Minn. In the end, the volunteer club collected more than 270 food items just in time for Thanksgiving.

“It feels really good knowing dozens of families in our community had food for Thanksgiving,” said Lodge. “It’s something many of us take for granted. The employees’ faces at CCEFS lit up when we walked in with all that food.”

“For me, it was a very eye-opening experience,” said Voreis. “I had no idea so many families were in need of food.”

Sager says he loved volunteering at Zoo Boo, a Halloween Festival fundraiser for the Como Zoo Park and Conservatory in St. Paul. He was among four students with the LE/W Volunteer Club who participated in the festival.

“It’s by far my favorite service project so far,” said Sager. “We got to dress up and interact with the children and play make-believe. It was a lot of fun.”

The LE/W Volunteer Club finished up the quarter with a Toy Drive on campus for Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Next quarter, they plan on volunteering with the United Way. Sager says all of their projects are family-friendly, so they encourage volunteers to bring along family and friends.

Are you inspired to get involved in your community? The LE/W Volunteer Club is always looking for new members. You can also make a donation or start a volunteer club on your own campus. Sager, Voreis and Lodge are proof it only takes a few people to make a big difference.

“There are people less fortunate than you,” said Sager. “It doesn’t take a special person to make a difference. Anyone can make a difference. You just need to take the time to make a difference.”

To learn more about the LE/W Volunteer Club and support their projects, visit their Facebook page.

About the author

Molly Andersen

Director of Public Relations

Molly is a Director of Public Relations at American Public Education, Inc., where she works on public relations and communications on behalf of Rasmussen University. A passionate storyteller, Molly believes everyone has a story to tell. She feels privileged to share the inspiring stories and wisdom of Rasmussen’s students, alumni, faculty and staff, and show others the transformative power of education.

Molly Andersen headshot

Related Content

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE Start Here MASTER'S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE End Here MASTER'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-msn chart-credential-laddering-nursing-programs chart-credential-laddering-nursing DNP MSN RN to BSN LPN to RN Bridge Accelerated BSN Professional Nursing ADN Practical Nursing Diploma Pre-Licensure Post-Licensure icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-lifelong-learning icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-location-pin icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-outline-person-presenter-screen icon-colored-outline-scales ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-briefcase-star icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-development icon-colored-duo-chatbox icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-forward-ribbon icon-colored-gears-clock icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-hand-stars icon-colored-hands-gear icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-hospital-building icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-checkmark icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-map icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-mortarboard-dollar icon-colored-national icon-colored-people-chat-bubbles icon-colored-person-cheer-star icon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxes icon-colored-person-screen-instructor icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-phone-chatbox icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-shirt-hat icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-triangle-arrow-up-plant icon-triangle-calendar-pencil icon-triangle-clock-rotating-arrows icon-triangle-display-gears icon-triangle-hand-right-speech-bubble icon-triangle-laptop-coding-brackets icon-triangle-mortarboard icon-triangle-paper-ribbon icon-triangle-person-cheer-star icon-triangle-person-juggle icon-triangle-triple-people-chat-bubble icon-modality-campus icon-modality-field icon-modality-online icon-modality-residential icon-arrow icon-bank icon-camera icon-filter icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-mglass icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-scales icon-share-square-o icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-spinner icon-tag icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-circle-arrow-down icon-util-circle-dot icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x rebrand-arrows icon-social-facebook-colored icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram-colored icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p-colored icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-colored icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play graduate-cap-star-coin hand-coin hand-heart nurse-stethoscope-rays card-send-smile person-yoga-pose suitcase-star