RAMSERVE: College students and community volunteers help out with Midlands service projects
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — It’s called Renewal Around the Midlands and refers to day of service around the Columbia community put on by a local university.
“We are a bunch of colleges and organizations gathered together to really serve and make a difference in our community. We want to see our community get better and better,” said James McCall, Columbia International University assistant dean.
Last year, Columbia International University held its own day of service. This time, the school teamed up with other local colleges.
“I thought it was amazing because one of Columbia College’s mission statements is part of service learning. It was very exciting to collaborate with them and other colleges to get students out in the community,” said Chinell Singletary, Columbia College student activities director.
Benedict College’s students also got involved.
“We saw what they were doing. We got excited about it and just wanted to join in and serve,” said Katrina Pitts, Benedict College service learning program manager.
Columbia International’s softball team were part of the day of service and helped out at Reconciliation Ministries.
“It’s just a really neat thing to coach a college sport at an institution that values service more than they value the wins,” said Sara Allen, CIU softball coach.
The softball team and other community volunteers helped paint, clean and do lawn care for the organization.
“That would take one of our staff members over one and a half weeks. We’re so grateful for the help and support that CIU has provided,” said Ashley Arrington, Reconciliation Ministries executive director.
Coach Allen believes it not only shows her team the importance of serving the community but also brings them closer together as people.
“When you get opportunities like this, you get to have real conversations about what’s important to you. You get to find out who people are inside and they way that they care for things other than the sport,” the softball coach said. “It’s everything. You need to do stuff like this that builds a team in a way that the sport never can.”
“I’d say the softball team is very close. We’re always together around campus, but seeing each other come together and serve is such a great experience,” said Julia Thielen, CIU softball pitcher.
“It’s an awesome day,” McCall said. “There was so much synergy today.”
Other projects included trash pickup on Columbia roads, organizing clothes at Oliver Gospel Mission Thrift Store, ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s Kettles for Ukraine drive and more.