Titans serve community at Hands on Oshkosh

Sophia Voight, Reporter

More than 170 students, staff and faculty of UW Oshkosh came out to provide their support to various organizations throughout Oshkosh in the university’s semiannual Hands on Oshkosh event last Saturday.

Hands on Oshkosh is a campus-wide “morning of service” program that is held once per semester. Volunteers throughout the campus visit community locations such as parks, nonprofits and elementary schools to lend their hands to projects and help make a difference in the community.

Students met in the Reeve Union ballroom, where they received a T-shirt and water bottle and heard an introductory speech about the day’s event, before loading into buses and being transported to volunteer sites.

Participants were divided into groups and sent off to different locations and organizations such as Growing Oshkosh, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Father Carr’s Place 2B, the Salvation Army and the River East Neighborhood Association.

Neil Romenesko, director of the men’s shelter at Father Carr’s Place 2B, a life enrichment center, said Father Carr’s greatly appreciates everything the program has done for their organization.

“What was accomplished in the shelters was phenomenal,” Romenesko said. “A group of 29 students can get the same amount of work done in a few hours that it would take one of our volunteers two weeks to do.”

UWO student and Reeve Union Volunteerism program assistant Alaina Riedel commended Hands on Oshkosh’s volunteers for getting out into their community and donating their time and efforts to Oshkosh’s organizations.

“I think the aspect of volunteering that’s most important is the community association,” Riedel said. “And the biggest way to get to know your community and the individuals in it is to volunteer.”

Riedel said it’s important to get to know and become involved in the city you live in and volunteering is a good way for new students who may not have lived in the area to become familiar with Oshkosh.

“I think doing your part to give back to the city in which you live is something that makes that connection,” Riedel said.

UWO student and Hands on Oshkosh volunteer Stephanie Jost said volunteering is a way to make connections and get involved in your community.

“I’ve definitely made a lot of connections around Oshkosh and on campus,” Jost said. “I know so many more people now that I’ve started volunteering.”

Jost added volunteering isn’t just important for the people participating, but also for the people they are helping and providing their services to.

“You never know when you’re going to end up on hard times, and if I can help someone while I can, I want to do that,” Jost said. “And I know if I’m ever in a situation, there will be volunteers that will step up for me.”

Volunteer opportunities at UWO don’t stop with Hands on Oshkosh though.

Jost, who serves as an executive board member of Titan Volunteers and as associate vice president of civic engagement for the Panhellenic Conference council, plans volunteering and philanthropy events for her organizations throughout the year. Jost said UWO has plenty of opportunities for students to get involved in volunteering and make a difference in the community.

For students interested in getting involved in volunteering, UWO student organizations Titan Volunteers and Circle K are exclusively dedicated to service.

Reeve Union Student Involvement also provides the Alternative Break program, which allows students to travel over winter or spring break to work on community-based service projects in different areas around the world. Information about this program can be found by visiting uwosh.edu/reeve/involvement/volunteerism/.

Students interested in volunteering can also email and ask to be added to the volunteer email list that sends out weekly volunteer opportunities.

“There are definitely resources and you should utilize them,” Riedel said. “And my advice is to try them out because you never know unless you try.”