RAMSERVE: College students and community volunteers contribute to Midlands service projects
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) – It’s called Renewal Around the Midlands and refers to day of service in the Columbia community organized by a local university.
“We are a group of colleges and organizations coming together to truly serve and make a difference in our community. We want to see our community get better and better,” said James McCall, assistant dean of Columbia International University.
Last year, Columbia International University held its own day of service. This time the school partnered with other local colleges.
“I thought that was amazing because one of Columbia College’s mission statements is service learning. It was very exciting to partner with them and other colleges to bring students out into the community,” said Chinell Singletary, Director of Student Activities at Columbia College.
Benedict College students also got involved.
“We saw what they were doing. It got us excited and we just wanted to join in and serve,” said Katrina Pitts, service-learning program manager at Benedict College.
The Columbia International softball team participated in the day of service and assisted with Reconciliation Ministries.
“It’s a really good thing to coach a collegiate sport at an institution that values service more than it values winning,” said CIU softball coach Sara Allen.
The softball team and other community volunteers helped paint, clean and maintain the lawn for the organization.
“It would take more than a week and a half for one of our collaborators. We are very grateful for the help and support CDI has provided,” said Ashley Arrington, executive director of Reconciliation Ministries.
Coach Allen believes this not only shows his team the importance of serving the community, but also brings them closer as people.
“When you have opportunities like this, you can have real conversations about what’s important to you. You find out who the people are on the inside and how they care about things other than sports,” said said the softball coach “That’s it. You have to do things like that that build a team in a way the sport never can.”
“I would say the softball team is very close. We are still together on campus, but seeing each other come together and serve is such a great experience,” said CIU softball pitcher Julia Thielen.
“It’s a great day,” McCall said. “There was so much synergy today.”
Other projects included picking up trash on Columbia roads, organizing clothes at the Oliver Gospel Mission Thrift Store, ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s Kettles for Ukraine campaign and more.