The State of Nebraska awarded Union College the Governor’s Points of Light Award today for the college’s work in the community through Project Impact. The awards are presented quarterly during a special ceremony at the State Capitol and recognize Nebraska volunteers who give their time, talent and energy to help Nebraskans build stronger communities.
Though the Point of Light Awards is a national program, Governor Johanns established the Nebraska Governor’s Points of Light Awards in May 2002. The Point of Light Awards are administered by ServeNebraska, the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission, which also coordinates AmeriCorps and provides training and technical assistance to help integrate those with disabilities into the workforce. This recognition from the state is all the more meaningful because Union was selected from an exceptionally wide field of organizations providing volunteers. Nebraska has the fourth highest volunteer rate in the nation according to the most recent data available from the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that tracks and encourages volunteerism.
This year Union celebrated the 30th anniversary of Project Impact, a campus-wide volunteer program. More than 750 Union College students, employees and friends participated on Sept. 8, 2011. Nebraska Senator Tony Fulton was on hand to read a special proclamation by the state legislature, as was Pastor Ted Wilson, president of Seventh-day Adventist world church.
“Project Impact takes the focus off ourselves for a day,” says Anna Coridan, 2011 Project Impact Coordinator. “It’s a whole day to realize the needs of others. If we aren’t looking, we can pass right by people with real hurts and needs.”
Since its inception, an estimated 18,300 volunteers have impacted Lincoln with more than 115,000 hours of voluntary labor. According to available research, Project Impact is the longest running collegiate service day with the highest percentage of campus participants in the nation.
In addition to Project Impact, Union provides many opportunities for student to get involved in community service all year, including Club Edify, which coordinates Friday evening trips to volunteer at People City Mission, and JOB ministries, in which students help community members move or clean up their yards and homes.
“It’s our utmost goal to inspire our students to serve,” explained John Wagner, president of Union College. “We are honored to be recognized by the State of Nebraska with this award.”
For more information on volunteer opportunities at Union visit: http://www.ucollege.edu/spiritual-life/ministry-opportunities
For more information about ServeNebraska and the Governor’s Point of Light Award, visit www.serve.nebraska.gov.
Rich Carlson, vice president for spiritual life, accepts the Point of Light award on behalf of Union College on Wednesday, Feb. 15.