In the midst of all the depressing news about war, global warming, the economy and the election was a feel good story about a group of college students that participated in an alternative spring break project. The focus of the project was to travel, at their own expense, to volunteer in an area of need somewhere in the country.
The article made me think about a group we have right here in our community that is often overlooked for recognition, but whose service and commitment is vital to the operation of many of our local agencies and community resources. That group is CEU's own Sun Center volunteers. They are students that dedicate their time at CEU to perform service projects while pursuing their academic goals as well.
The Sun Center is a non-profit volunteer organization that is dedicated to helping students, faculty, and our community through meaningful community service. The Sun Center was founded upon the belief that service is the cornerstone of a strong community.
Kathy Murray has been a cornerstone to that program for as long as I can remember. Every single community service need we have dealt with in this area has benefited from the touch of one or more Sun Center volunteers. Murray is there behind the scenes to find out the need and match willing students with the projects at hand.
I counted 22 on-going service projects listed on their web site. That doesn't even take into consideration the spontaneous and spur of the moment projects that the community asks for help with.
If you have followed the Utah Legislature in the past several years, you have probably heard the name of representative Dave Litvak come up. He was a Sun Center volunteer back in his early days, already making an impact on issues of poverty and human resources.
Although many students at CEU are "local kids", many are also from out of the area and their helping out in our community is just as dedicated. Some get service learning credits and some hours are just done because service has become a way of life.
Each day these students go out and give a little of themselves, knowing there won't be a camera to immortalize their actions or a screaming crowd to cheer them on. Their rewards come in the form of smiles from little kids, a thank-you from a senior citizen or just their own personal satisfaction of a job well done.
In a time when we don't always give our youth enough good press, I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge the time and effort of the Sun Center volunteers that has richened our community over the years.