Accounting Students Volunteer at Crisis Nursery

October 16, 2013

Ten accounting majors, most of them members of Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary organization for accounting students, volunteered at Crittenton Centers’ Crisis Nursery  joining about 1,000 accountants statewide in the 2013 CPA Day of Service on September 20.

Junior Emily West, student representative at the Illinois CPA Society, planned the Bradley event. Accountants could choose where to volunteer, and West chose the Crisis Nursery for the group. She had noticed the place as she drove past on her way to the grocery store each week. The center offers child abuse prevention services for infants and young children up to 6 years old whose families are experiencing domestic violence, parent challenges, mental health issues and other situations that place children at risk.

The group, including accounting professor Dr. Simon Petravick, was first given a tour of the Crisis Nursery. “They asked us to be their advocates and let people know they are here and what they do,” Dr. Petravick said.

The group built five raised garden boxes, so the staff will be able to raise fresh herbs for cooking next spring. “We did not know ahead of time what we would be doing,” West said. “They gave us wood and dirt and said to make sure we left enough space so a lawn mower could go between the boxes. They had one box done and had cut the wood for us.”

This is the fourth year Bradley students have participated in the CPA Day of Service. In previous years, they have volunteered at the Midwest Food Bank, an animal shelter and Forest Park Nature Center.

“We wanted to be like the other accountants across the state, so we traded our computers and textbooks for shovels and brooms,” Dr. Petravick said. “This is our way to join our real-world friends.

“It’s great to help an organization in need. They have a tight budget with a lean staff. It was gratifying to provide some assistance and help them check something off their to-do list.”

West said, “This gave us a chance to get involved here in the Peoria community with other students who enjoy volunteering. I believe people need to help their fellow man, so taking time out of your Friday to do this is important.”

Beta Alpha Psi members complete about 500 hours of community service each school year. The group has volunteered at IHSA March Madness high school basketball tournaments and at Late Night BU, planned fundraisers for the Journal Star Christmas Fund, has served as bankers for Relay for Life and more.