LLC members win award for video about volunteering at Ronald McDonald House
As part of their participation in the worldwide scavenger hunt GISHWHES (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen) during Oct. 2012, Daena Vogt-Lowell and Karla Jimenez were tasked with making a video that shows a random act of kindness.
They decided that volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill with their Living-Learning Community, Service and Leadership (S&L), would be the perfect opportunity to do so.
Karla filmed the S&L community members helping out with various tasks at the RMH, which provides a home for the families of children who are receiving medical care in the Chapel Hill area. Daena then edited the video and submitted it to GISHWHES, run by the non-profit organization Random Acts. [Watch the video here]
Every video that was submitted was automatically entered into a separate contest also by Random Acts that specifically recognizes random acts of kindness.
Although Daena thought nothing would actually come from this contest, she soon learned that the video had won the Oct. 2012 Semi-Annunal Award for Random Acts (SAARA) Smiles Award. The $500 prize was donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill to be used for food and other supplies.
“When I found out that the video made it to the final round of the SAARA Smiles Awards, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic or surprised,” said Daena. “Finding out that it won was an entirely new level of happiness. It’s something I won’t soon forget, I can guarantee you.”
Volunteering at the RMH is just one of many service opportunities that members of S&L have in order to help make a difference both on campus and in the community.
Tara Summerville, who was a member of the LLC last year, decided to return this year as Student Coordinator in order to give others the same amazing experience she had in the community.
“The program really immerses you into so many service-based organizations on campus, which is done with the thought that members will continue their involvement past the LLC and eventually emerge as capable, skilled leaders themselves,” said Tara.
Each month has a different topic or social justice issue that members focus on, including leadership recognition and appreciation, health in America, leaders throughout history and human trafficking.
For example, during the leadership recognition and appreciation month, members made gift baskets for several organizations and service groups at UNC, such as the Department of Public Safety, Campus Health, Campus Y and Academic Advising.
In addition to weekly meetings and service events throughout the year, all members are enrolled in an APPLES service-learning course. Students learn how to identify a social justice problem in the community, such as homelessness, and implement an actual program that fosters change.
“Through the meeting and classes I’ve gone through as a member of S&L, I feel as though I’ve gained knowledge and experience that I would not have found anywhere else,” said Daena. “It’s been a great opportunity for me to thrive as an individual and a member of the community. I’ve learned much more about myself and about my peers than I could have ever hoped for.”
If you’re interested in the Service and Leadership LLC, view application instructions here. Spaces are filled on a rolling basis as applications are received, so apply early! For current students, the final deadline to apply is March 1, 2013.