Dakota State University Gives Back in Day of Service

MADISON, S.D.- Every year Dakota State University has a day of service to give back and help out around their community. With Madison being one of the cities hit hardest by flooding, this day of service couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Humbled,” that’s the feeling from Mandy Parpart, the director of student engagement and leadership at DSU on this Day Of Service.

“It’s something we felt is important to give back and show that students can make a difference in their community,” she said.

The community service effort started four years ago as a way to give back. This year, DSU had over 800 students, faculty and staff signed up to volunteer.

Bailey Belisario, DSU Senior, and volunteer said, “Being able to help your community especially in a time of crisis or tragedy it’s a really cool thing to see.”

Parpart said volunteers were ready to take on the 30 projects planned around Madison. From painting fire hydrants and benches to picking up trash and pulling weeds, volunteers stepped in to help where they could and ease the load for city employees.

She said, “We’re using this as our opportunity to take a little bit of pressure off of them and just kind of bring the town to some set of normalcy again.”

Volunteers also raised $850 through a Go Fund Me campaign to buy personal care items like soap, deodorant, socks, and toothpaste to create hygiene kits. Those kits will then be delivered to local schools.

Crystal Pauli, the Dean of Education, said given the recent flooding, the need for something like this in the community became greater than ever.

“We’ve been planning this project for a couple of months but it just really came to fruition with what happened last week,” said Pauli.

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