Students, staff and administrators packed backpacks for local children and wrote notes to veterans in the Student Services Center. COD Cares also encouraged people to donated a variety of goods to several community organizations.
According to the Ami Chambers, coordinator of community relations, COD Cares strives to encourage and coordinate “charitable efforts for staff and student participation while fostering a culture of service on campus.”
To encourage participation, COD Cares offered a chance for participants to win a premium parking pass. Participants had to donate goods or completed service activities.
Students and staff could also sign up to become a COD Action Hero and volunteer in monthly events. COD Cares provides the opportunity for staff to get compensated for their charitable efforts.
The day’s activities aimed to help at least 13 community organizations, including DuPage County PADS, Operation Support Our Troops and Willowbrook Wildlife Center.
The institution-wide program came from COD’s shared governance council, according to Chambers. Members agreed charitable and service-related activities on campus should be overseen by one entity.
COD Cares will schedule a series of monthly group service activities on and off campus throughout the year. The program will host a large annual celebration like the launch occasion, which will include a volunteer recognition component as well, according to Chambers.
Chambers hopes to invite members of the community at large for future events.
Student Katie Price decided to participate in a service activity on a whim.
“I think that it’s fun and everyone’s having a good time. It seems like a good cause,” Price said.
Martha Johnson, supervisor for the mail and print services department, remarked on the new program.
“It’s amazing that an institution this large shows a softer side.”