Lend a hand, hear the band

We may not have a direct impact on solving issues in Iraq and New Orleans, but we can start at home.

College is about more than trudging to class in the snow and waiting for the weekend tradition of taking shots with your friends. College is about building the bridge of who you were as a child to who you will be as an adult. Part of being an adult is realizing that each individual, that you, are part of a greater whole – a greater community. Here on campus we are part of larger and more diverse communities than we realize. We come and go and rarely think of leaving a mark by giving back.

Living in Minneapolis provides a plethora of opportunities far beyond what our University campus can offer. We enjoy a breathtaking skyline, can easily hop on a bus to a Twins game, or shop at the Mall of America. We take these luxuries for granted and try to save pennies by going to 2-for-1 specials and eating Ramen noodles. Giving doesn’t have to be an issue of how much money you’re willing to spend. It can be about something more fundamental: time.

Time can do many things. It can build or paint houses for those less fortunate, it can shovel your elderly neighbor’s walkway. We may not have a direct impact on solving issues in Iraq or New Orleans, but we can start at home.

College can show you more than any PowerPoint will ever reveal in lecture. It can also teach you something more invaluable: the difference an individual can make. You can graduate with more than just a degree, but with the knowledge that you made a difference in people’s lives. Volunteering has never been easier.

MSA has created the perfect opportunity to change your intentions of volunteering into action through a concert called Lend a Hand, Hear the Band. For completing 10 hours of community service over the semester, you can receive a free ticket to see Roster McCabe, The Format and Guster at Northrop on April 11. Events to participate in are listed on the Web site www.lendahandheartheband.org. You can attend any United Way event, or if those don’t appeal to you, you can submit your own ideas to receive hours. For less than one hour a week, you can be part of a project that can bring comfort to those who don’t have it, and hope to those less fortunate.

In fact, there are many opportunities to get community service hours this week. On Wednesday there is a troop supply drive in Room 326 of Coffman from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bring in supplies or staff the room to receive hours. On Thursday, there is a blood drive in Coffman. Giving blood counts for two and a half hours of service. If these don’t sound exciting, let us know what does. Use your time, give back.

Monica Heth is a University student and vice-president of MSA. Tricia Woellert is a University student and campus relations chair of MSA. Please send comments to [email protected]