By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
More than 500 students new to St. Ambrose University in Davenport took to the streets in the Quad-City area to do volunteer work during the annual Urban Plunge on Aug. 18.
Students arrived at 30 different sites on foot or by bus to help with painting, yard work or writing down family information for senior citizens.
“Service is part of what it means to be an Ambrosian,” said Father Chuck Adam, St. Ambrose University’s chaplain. “With Urban Plunge we hope to strengthen our new student commitment to the lifelong practice of service and social justice.”
Urban Plunge is one of many annual service activities and projects completed by St. Ambrose students. At the Kahl Home in Davenport, one of the Urban Plunge sites, 21 students interviewed residents about their life stories. Each student had a packet of questions to ask a specific resident. Lisa Hass, the Kahl Home’s life enrichment supervisor, encouraged students to let the conversation go where the resident wanted it to go — even if it’s not on the paperwork.
The interviews will be assembled with pictures and made into videos in the future. Family members will receive a copy. Hass said many families learn new information about their loved one from the video, and oftentimes additional copies are made for families.
At Project Renewal, also in Davenport, students picked up trash and cleaned Sr. Concetta Park, the alley along the park and properties at Project Renewal.
Some additional sites where students volunteered: Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, Hand in Hand in Bettendorf, Transitions Mental Health Center in Rock Island, Ill., ARC of the Quad Cities in Rock Island, the Diocese of Davenport and area schools.