On September 21, over 120 Bulldogs showed up in 11 locations across the country to volunteer at local nonprofits for Drake’s annual day of service, DU Good Day.
“DU Good Day is a great reminder that there are easy ways to positively contribute to the community we live in. I’ve been blessed by the community I’ve found at Drake, and it’s always fun to get together with other Bulldogs and give back where we can,” said Nate Bleadorn, BN’13, GR’17, who volunteered with the Des Moines group.
And what did Drake give back? Let’s recap:
At the Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, Colo., the Bulldog team put together food boxes and their work resulted in being able to feed 23,668 people. They also helped move 11,020 pounds of potato chips.
Forty-one students, alumni, faculty, staff, and even a few kids of alumni headed to Bidwell Riverside in Des Moines. It is the highest serving food pantry in Iowa and serves 4,000 individuals per month. The team served in the food pantry, helping families, stocking shelves, and organizing donations, while other volunteers helped organize, clean, and paint in Bidwell’s Child Development Center.
Houston, Texas Bulldogs met up at the Houston Food Bank. “We had fun catching up and doing good for the Houston community. We scanned and re-packed 37 pallets of food donated from Kroger,” said Lynn Place, JO’74, “This was our third year at the Food Bank. We all agreed this was the best assignment yet!”
A team of 10 Kansas City alumni from the classes of 1987 to 2017 volunteered at St. Mark Child and Family Development Center, a facility serving 124 students, ranging in age from six weeks to pre-K. Because one of the highlights of the program at St. Mark Center is an arts-based curriculum, the volunteers also participated in art projects including making pinwheels, decorating aprons, and creating positive affirmation signs that will be posted throughout the center for staff and students.
In Washington D.C., five alumni (spanning 20-plus years of graduating classes) helped serve lunch to over 200 individuals at SOME (So Others Might Eat). SOME offers a variety of services, including affordable housing, counseling, addiction treatment, and job training. In addition, SOME helps meet immediate daily needs by providing food, clothing, and healthcare to those in need. “There were plenty of smiling faces thankful for our help. It was great to provide a warm cup of coffee, even on a hot DC day, and a full meal to the families and everyone at SOME on Saturday,” said Skylar Borchardt, AS’17.
Drake Alumni in the Seattle area supported Treehouse for Kids on the city’s first DU Good Day. The organization strives to create a world where every child that has experienced foster care has the opportunities and support they need to pursue their dreams and launch successfully into adulthood. Treehouse provides a store where children and foster families can ‘shop’ for donated clothing, school supplies, toys and other essentials. Drake alumni spent the morning sorting through donated items and preparing them to go into the store for foster children to access.
“The morning was a great time as alumni of several different generations swapped stories about G-K, Peggy’s, professors and Drake Relays,” said Dianna Winegarden, AS’95.
In Phoenix, Ariz., Bulldogs packed 1,152 emergency food boxes at St. Mary’s Food Bank. At the St. Louis Food Bank, Drake alumni helped pack over 21,000 pounds of household supplies for families in need in the St. Louis area. Both the Chicago and Twin Cities groups volunteered at local branches of Feed My Starving Children. The groups packed rice, soy, dried vegetables, and a nutritionally complete blend of vitamins and minerals into bags which are shipped to FMSC partners to reach the neediest children around the world.