As part of its sixth annual “Be Impactful” program, more than 300 new freshmen at the Benedictine University of Lisle recently completed more than 600 hours of community service in 17 nonprofit organizations in the western suburbs, all in one afternoon.
“Be Impactful” took place on August 25 when a fleet of buses and vans transported groups of Benedictine students to the following nonprofits: DuPage PADS, Forest Preserve of DuPage County, The Conservation Foundation, Nativity House Catholic Worker, SCARCE (School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education), Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple, We Grow Dreams Inc., West Suburban Community Pantry, YWCA, Metropolitan Family Shelter Services, Congregation Beth Shalom, Catholic Charities-Hope House, BenU Community Garden & Environmental Sustainability at Benedictine University, BenU Grounds, St. Procopius Abbey, Sacred Heart Monastery Grotto, Islamic Center of Naperville, St. Margaret Mary and Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry.
A central activity of Benedictine’s freshman orientation and part of the university’s interfaith studies program, “Be Impactful” introduces Benedictine students to one of the university’s essential core values: promoting volunteerism. , stewardship and giving back to the community.
According to Carrie Ankeny, director of campus ministry at Benedictine, an important act of giving even before attending their first class is the beginning of a student’s involvement in true interfaith engagement.
“At Benedictine, we encourage students of all faiths to work together to discover their purpose, grow in self-awareness, and contribute to the common good,” Ankeny said. “Participating in deed service with students of many faiths helps form a common bond and leads to greater understanding so that we can all work together as one community.”