By Briana Williams–
Hundreds of U of L students gave a day for service on Aug. 18 in the 10th annual SOUL event.
SOUL, which stands for Students Outreach Uniting Louisville, gives participants an opportunity to work closely with the community before classes begin.
The event happens during Welcome Week. Unlike other service opportunities, SOUL is designed to get new freshmen actively involved after their move-in day, offering time to be directly involved in improving Louisville and U of L.
Students, faculty and staff are offered free transportation to their service destinations. Volunteer areas include parks and churches in Louisville, as well as U of L itself. Tasks range from planting and painting to helping in kitchens and beautifying Louisville areas.
Specifically on the U of L campuses, volunteers plant flowers, place mulch down in flower beds and clean up campus walkways.
For volunteers, refreshments and free t-shirts were provided and the hours of service can be used for volunteer hours in other organizations. This year, U of L had one of its highest attendance rates since the service program premiered in 2006.
Though the service hours last from 8 a.m. to noon, the Office of Student Involvement boasts about the “success” of the day on its website.
Alexis Faison, a participant of last year’s SOUL, called the service day “a cool way of getting to be a part of campus and meet some other students.”
Other U of L-sponsored service events include the bi-annual Day of Service, the MLK Day of Service and volunteer opportunities through the Engage Lead Serve Board.