Wednesday, October 9, 2019, Day of Service is themed ‘More Than Just a Day, Service For Life’

BISMARCK, ND— The thought of putting others first and providing leadership through service are some of the qualities that attracted Taylor Lassiter to the University of Mary, and helped influence her decision to attend the four-year Catholic school in her hometown of Bismarck. One of Lassiter’s first experiences helping others happened as a freshman when she volunteered to help at Huff Hills for UMary’s annual Day of Service. Her group did heavy hauling at the site in preparation for ski season.

“I witnessed many relationships being formed between students who had never met before, making me instantly realize that the impact of a day of service establishes connections and benefits that last a lifetime,” said Lassiter, who is now a junior at Mary and lead coordinator for the 2019 Day of Service event, Wednesday, October 9. The event begins with a convocation at 8 a.m. in the McDowall Activity Center (MAC) before buses load up at 9:15 a.m., (schedule below). “The student-led event brings joy to those we serve and those who get to serve. Ultimately, we would not be able to accomplish the tasks and partake in the day in the way we do without the support of the University of Mary, and sponsors like Dakota Community Bank and Trust, Missouri Slope Areawide United Way, and Jerome’s Distributing. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”

This year, another record-breaking 1,400 or so volunteers are expected to converge on the Capital City to help give back to a community that has given so much to the university. University of Mary’s student-organized and -run Day of Service looks to be just as exciting and worldwide in scope with volunteers taking part in this event from afar in Standing Rock, and campus locations in Billings, MT, Fargo,  Rome, Italy and in Arizona. In all, there are approximately 70 project sites at those locations.

“Personally, this day means connecting with the communities we serve, not just by the work we do, but through the relationships built through conversations,” added Lassiter, who is planning a profession in PR work in a government office, or at a national park after completing her double major in communications and politics. “Community helps shape who we are and has a lasting impact on both the sites and the people who serve. Continuing the tradition of Day of Service creates lasting relationships and reliability between the University of Mary and the communities we find ourselves in. After serving in Day of Service, and after each one of us moves on from our time at UMary, we carry this experience and the connections made with us. As the school slogan states, it is University of Mary — For Life, the theme this year for Day of Service is ‘More Than Just A Day, Service For Life.’”

As part of the new Vision 2030 Campaign, University of Mary’s student body recommitted itself to becoming servant leaders of moral courage, providing a culture grounded in service, fostering a great capacity to pour themselves out in loving service to others. The new, campus-wide Day of Service campaign that began in 2014 answers that pledge.

Many entities across Bismarck-Mandan have been impacted over the years as it has grown to this massive undertaking. It’s amazing what hundreds of helping hands can do in a day’s time. The number of tasks that have been tackled by the University of Mary Day of Service volunteers since it began five years ago are staggering and run the gamut: shoveling tons of debris at an empty school in Mandan; database entry at a grade school, installing fence at a national park; zoo cleanup; apple picking for a world apple bobbing record; tree wrapping to protect from winter critters; cleaned ditches from campus to the Capitol; ecumenical cleanup at Trinity Lutheran and prepared meals for those underserved, to name just a handful. There isn’t much they haven’t done or can’t do.

Serving others is a big part of the University of Mary’s mission since being founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. Mary’s students take part in hundreds of service projects every year—from helping with homeless shelters in North Dakota to providing medical assistance in Guatemala and Peru.

With University of Mary classes cancelled for this annual event, students, faculty and staff will spread out to nearly 70 service projects ranging from helping paint murals at Theo Art School, waiting tables, prepping and serving food at Heaven’s Helper Soup Kitchen and sanding and painting benches, hauling wood and groundskeeping at Apple Creek School, to name just a few.

Day of Service Schedule

8 a.m. – 9 a.m.  McDowell Activity Center (MAC) Prayer service, convocation and University of Mary Vocal Jazz with keynote speaker Ryan Capouch, University of Mary alumnus —Volunteers receive T-shirts

9:15 – 9:30a.m. (Outside MAC) Buses load for morning service projects

9:30a.m. (Outside MAC) Buses depart

10 – Noon Morning service projects begin

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Outside of MAC) Lunch provided by Dakota Community Bank

12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Outside MAC)Buses load for afternoon projects

12:30p.m. (Outside MAC) Buses depart

1–3p.m. Afternoon service projects begin

4:30p.m. (Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel) All University Liturgy

5:30 – 6:45p.m. (Crow’s Nest) Coronation Meal

7 p.m. (Founders Hall) Day of Service and Coronation Celebration