By Kayla Tucker – A&E/Features Editor
It’s not hard to miss Grand Rapids Community College’s 100th anniversary this year with all of the celebration around campus. But this time GRCC is giving back to the community.
GRCC’s 100 Ways to Give is a broad event, co-chaired by Laurie Foster and Lilly Anderson, interim associate dean of operations, that gives each of the college’s departments a chance to volunteer or give back in some way to the college or community.
From displaying history banners around campus, to special lecture series, to offering up 100 hours of volunteer time at Degage Ministries, each department is eager to participate.
“Laurie Foster and I were charged to work with every single department on campus and ask them to commit themselves to one way in which they will celebrate the 100-year anniversary,” Anderson said. “They could also do the departmental history banners, which you’ve probably seen all over campus…that was a very fun project.”
All departments, academic and nonacademic, were able to participate in some way. There are currently 39 different ways that GRCC is giving back to the community. In November, the Counseling and Career Center will be donating 100 pounds of food to the GRCC Student Food Pantry. In December, Student Life will be donating Christmas gifts to Toys for Tots.
“People are still so excited about this that I’m still getting calls (from GRCC staff wanting to give back in some way),” Anderson said.
The project began in August and runs through May.
The Legal Counsel Department is working towards the goal of donating at least 100 pounds of domestic supplies – kid’s clothing, pots and pans, toiletries – to the YWCA, a domestic crisis center that houses victims of domestic violence.
“This is a whole movement where we’re trying to make people aware that they’re not alone,” said Deborah Sanders, Assistant to the General Counsel, Title IX Coordinator and Equal Employment Opportunity Officer of the Legal Counsel Department.
Sanders hopes to see a student-ran sexual assault prevention team in the future.
“They could contact me and I could help them get something off the ground,” Sanders said. “This is a serious situation that I don’t think is being addressed by the student body and I’d love to see that come out of this if possible.”
Anderson stated it is difficult to calculate the dollar value of the college-wide giving project that has inspired faculty and staff to collect domestic items, money, food, and other items.
“More importantly is the concept and the thought of wanting to give back to (the community),” Anderson said.
To see a full list of the volunteer projects that are happening, visit grcc.edu/100th/ volunteer.