Alums pitch in to make Benedictine Day of Service a success

Alum Features Campus & Community

May 15, 2024

By Frank Rajkowski

Once again this past April, graduates of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University joined together to continue putting into practice the Benedictine values that played such a big role in their own experiences as students on these two campuses.

A total of 236 alums participated in the annual Benedictine Day of Service on April 14, taking part in organized service projects at numerous locations across the country.

The group contributed a total of 561 volunteer hours to 17 projects held in 13 different cities. Utilizing the Independent Sector’s National Value of a Volunteer Hour national rate of $33.49 per hour, CSB and SJU alums provided combined services that valued $18,787.89.

"The Benedictine Day of Service has become a staple event for CSB/SJU alums across Minnesota, the country and even the globe,” said Becka Gross Clobes ’12, one of the planning team members for this year’s event and a CSB Alumnae Board member. “This event not only connects alums to other alums in their local areas, but (gives us) an opportunity to live out our Benedictine values such as community living, hospitality, justice, respect for persons and more.

“It’s great to see CSB/SJU alums come together and serve their local communities, and it's rewarding knowing hundreds of other alums are also participating on the same day - creating a collective impact."

Projects took place near the campuses in Central Minnesota, as well as in Duluth, Mankato, Rochester, Fargo/Moorhead and at four sites across the Twin Cities metro area. Outside of Minnesota, projects were held in Des Moines, Iowa, Chicago, Denver, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Omaha, Phoenix and in Indiana.

In all, alums packed 3,188 bags of food and 68,982 meals for kids facing food insecurity on the weekends, seniors, chronically ill adults and international children living in poverty.

They also served meals to residents in a homeless shelter, completed spring clean-up projects for families and seniors in need, packed food for clients unable to attend community meals in shelters, cleaned and organized shelter space, helped support a water stop during a half marathon that raised money for local community needs and put in new playground equipment for children at a shelter for women and children in transition.

“Benedictine Day of Service is a wonderful collaboration of volunteer leaders from the CSB alumnae board, SJU alumni board and CSB and SJU alum volunteers in chapters located across the U.S. and throughout the world,” said Adam Herbst ’94, the executive director of university relations at SJU. “It’s these alum volunteer leaders that make it possible for our community to come together in service and express our nearest and dearest Benedictine values.

“It’s really special to see alums come together in service to their local communities in so many places across the globe and at pretty much the same time,” he continued. “Giving back comes naturally to Bennies and Johnnies, and we are grateful to all the alums who make these events possible.”

“It’s gratifying to experience another successful year for Benedictine Day of Service,” added Valerie Jones ’94, executive director of alumnae relations at CSB. “The project leaders pour so much heart and soul into creating meaningful volunteer opportunities for CSB and SJU alums to serve in locations all around the country, and their work is a testament to how far our Benedictine values reach when each project has a successful turn-out.

“As a staff member, it’s a privilege to support the hard work of the project leaders, the volunteer planning team and all 236+ volunteers who contributed to the collective impact of this year’s CSB and SJU Benedictine Day of Service,” she continued. “It’s yet another way alums across each generation let their lights shine for good.”

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