By Matt Hawkins
December 9, 2013
A crew of 20 Bradley students sorted clothing and other items Saturday at Washington’s Sunnyland Plaza, where several empty storefronts serve as the drop-off and pick-up point for food, clothing, and other goods. The day of volunteering was one of many university-related relief efforts to reach the community since the November 17 tornado outbreak in central Illinois.
Saturday’s volunteering concluded Bradley’s Service on Saturday fall slate. Service on Saturday, coordinated by the Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service, provides students with a variety of volunteering opportunities one day a month.
“Everything helps the community,” said Rebecca Borchert ’17. “I didn’t get a chance to help at first so I wanted to do my part.”
Saturday also was the first opportunity for Malik Chappell ’17 to reach out to Bradley’s neighbors in need.
“I didn’t realize how serious it was,” he said. “Now seeing all the help people need is humbling. I have everything I need, but this makes us know we are fortunate and be grateful.”
Service on Saturday events are designed to show students community needs around them. The day in Washington accomplished that purpose for those who volunteered.
“We’re in our own bubble,” Borchert said. “Getting off campus is a way to see we aren’t the only ones here.”
The Bradley community has been busy with relief efforts since the day following the tornadoes. On campus, a weeklong supply drive collected bottled water, Gatorade, non-perishable food items and toiletries. Students also made 300 blankets, which were distributed to affected children.
Additionally, the Bradley community found multiple ways to contribute financially. General cash donations were accepted on campus for the Red Cross, with donation arrangements also made through United Way and Salvation Army. Campus dining also is allowing students to donate up to $25 from their Dining Dollars accounts to relief efforts.
Beyond campus, alumni groups in Chicago and Washington, D.C. raised funds. Local businesses also chipped in with t-shirt sales and donations of dining proceeds.
For more information on Bradley’s tornado relief efforts, visit: bradley.edu/tornadorelief