By Christel Phillips - email
NACOGDOCHES, TX(KTRE)- It was plenty of sunshine, fun, and children with smiling faces on the campus of Stephen F. Austin University, kids came out to take advantage Children's Day.
"I played pin the tail on the axe, played with the basketball, did the moon bounce, and ate a slushy and popcorn," said one ten year old girl attending the event.
The Omega Kappa Alpha Sorority hosted the event, with the help of student volunteers and Big Jack Mentors, this was their way of giving back to the community and investing in the lives of the future.
"When I am at Stephen F. Austin I want to make sure that I do my part in really wanting to contribute to the community," says Kelly Vullo, a college student and Big Jacks Mentor.
"I definitely think it's important as college students to give back we're both education majors so its especially important," adds Georgina Allen, also a Big Jacks Mentor.
While the kids were running around having a good time, some parents couldn't help but appreciate the free food and entertainment. "It's so wonderful for the students to do this, get involved in the community and the children all love it," says one pleased parent.
Cecy Felipe, President of the Omega Kappa Alpha Sorority, and event organizer, says this is something they wanted to do for Nacogdoches, because they (the city) do so much for them. She says she hopes that this year's Children's Day will be an annual event in the future.
SFA's Volunteer Week
The Office of Student Life at Stephen F. Austin State University will be hosting Volunteer Week Sunday, April 19 to Friday April 24. Every day of the week will bring a different program and highlight a different aspect of volunteering. Students and faculty of Stephen F. Austin State University as well as the community of Nacogdoches is encouraged to participate in this week of giving back.
The week will kick of Sunday, April 19 with a festival on the intramural fields to celebrate Dia del Nino or Children's Day. This event is being organized by the Latin sorority of Omega Kappa Alpha. Volunteers are encouraged to help run the several booths, while the community of Nacogdoches is invited to bring all children for the free event.
On Monday, April 20 the focus will be on "No Pet Left Behind," an event aimed at educating students to keep their commitment of being a pet owner. The Nacogdoches Animal Shelter sees a great increase in the number of abandoned animals around the university's winter break, spring break and beginning of summer break. Along with education aspect of the program, there will be a Pet Necessity Drive where volunteers can donate Pedigree Dog and Cat Food, cat and dog toys, cat and dog shampoo, cat litter and grooming supplies. All donations can be brought to the Student Involvement Center on the first floor of the Student Center, and all items will be donated to the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter.
Tuesday, April 21st will bring lemonade to the SFA campus. The focus will be on raising money for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, which goes towards childhood cancer research. Lemonade stands will be located in front of the Baker Patillo Student Center and out in the middle of campus by the Surfing Steve statue from 10 am to 2 pm.
The focus for Wednesday, April 22nd will be community hunger. There will be a Spring Food Drive collecting non-perishable food items to be donated to East Texas Food Bank. All donations can be brought to the Student Involvement Center on the first floor of the Student Center. On this day there will also be a Great American Bake Sale, which is a national program dedicated to ending childhood hunger. All money raised will be spent ending childhood hunger in the local area by supporting after school and summer feeding programs. Any bake sale good donation can be brought to the Student Involvement Center before 9 am on Wednesday, April 22nd. To buy bake sale goods and donate money, go to the bake sale stand outside the Student Center from 9 am to 3 pm.
Thursday, April 23rd will be all about saving lives. There will be a blood drive on the third floor of the Student Center in the Student Affairs Lounge from 9 am to 4 pm. To sign up for a time slot ahead of time call the Student Involvement Center at 936-468-6721. There will also be several tables located around campus on this day for volunteers to sign up to be put on the National Marrow Donor Registry. Any one interested would just fill out an application and their mouths would be swabbed for a tissue sample. Their name would be put onto the registry for doctors with patients needing a marrow transplant to look for possible matches. Anyone interested is advised to bring their driver's license and information of two emergency contacts to the information table.
The final day of Volunteer Week will be Friday, April 24th with the Big Event scheduled! The Big Event is a day of massive volunteering by the SFA student population to give back to the community of Nacogdoches. Non-profit organizations and local residents who signed up needing help will be sent volunteers to do anything from cleaning up a yard, painting a fence to helping with the Adopt A Thon at the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to pre-register at the Student Involvement Center or by calling 936-468-6721. The Big Event Registration and Sign In Table will start at 11 am in front of the Student Center. The Kick Off ceremony will start at noon and volunteers will be sent off to their host site to volunteer. Last semester when the event was held there were almost 400 volunteers, and there is expected to be double the amount this year.
WHAT: VOLUNTEER WEEK
WHEN: SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2009- FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2009
WHERE: STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY
1936 NORTH STREET