by Kassidy Hart–Morningside community members have become familiar with the college’s annual volunteering event, Into the Streets. And though Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) was able to host the 14 th annual Into the Streets, the event looked a bit different due to COVID restrictions.
“Kali Hill and I wanted to still hold the event this year as it is an important event for Morningside and also has a huge impact on the Siouxland community,” Co-Vice President of Into the Streets Marissa Beintema said. “We made the decision to push it off for the fall semester to fully weigh our options.”
In previous years, Morningside set aside a whole day in the fall semester, called “All Campus Event Day”, for groups to go out into the community and volunteer with various Siouxland organizations. Due to the shortened 2020 spring semester and unpredictability of COVID-19 in the 2020 fall semester, the day of volunteering instead became a full week in the 2021 spring semester of different time slots offered to groups to sign up for.
“The idea of having Into the Streets during National Volunteer Week in April suggested in order to promote volunteerism and still hold our event this academic year. Kali and I had to reconfigure the single day event into a week-long event,” Beintema said. “We [also] changed our way of planning the packages to send with volunteers, t-shirt pick-ups, and types of volunteer opportunities at each organization.”
Students had mixed feelings about this new schedule. Freshman Hannah Harris volunteered with the women’s basketball team after their coach stressed the importance of getting out and giving back to the community, and she enjoyed the flexibility of ODK’s weeklong Into the Streets.
“I think that having many time slots and days available to sign–up made it so that every group was able to find a time that worked for them,” freshman Hannah Harris said.
On the other hand, not devoting a whole day to volunteering prevented some students from being able to participate due to scheduling issues.
“With finals nearing and my schedule being so busy right now, I just couldn’t make any of the times work, which was sad because I was really looking forward to volunteering in the fall,” junior Carlie Wilson said.
Freshman Bradley Palmer volunteered with the swim team and, although he didn’t mind the weeklong event, he did find the week chosen for Into the Streets to be in one of the busier times of the school year.
“Nearing the end of the second semester can be a very busy time for college students. So, I hope in the future they go back to hosting the event during the fall semester,” Palmer said.
Despite these mixed feelings about the scheduling of the event, Morningside students still found the experience valuable and worthwhile, affirming both the extrinsic reward of helping out organizations around the area and intrinsic rewards that come with volunteering.
“I had a great time giving back to the Siouxland Community. I like how ODK made it a campus inclusive event, so that everyone at Morningside had the opportunity to participate, and as a result I think it helped us make a more widespread impact,” Harris said.