Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Giving Back to the Community

If we’re going to have the humble honor of receiving this incredible education from a two-year MBA program, what worth is it if we don’t give back? That’s why this week I’m volunteering in the Bloomington Community.
Kelley is currently hosting a three-school volunteer competition between Mendoza of Notre Dame and Krannert of Purdue. If we're one of the top ranked MBA colleges, of couse we have to be the host! It’s a one-month long competition ending in just one week, and winners are based on the average number of volunteer hours per school per student and percentage of students at each school who participated. What MBA doesn’t love a little competition?
Kelley Cares is one of the myriad of student clubs at the Kelley School of Business that coordinates and oversees volunteer opportunities for Kelley MBAs to participate in and help the Bloomington Community. Their Facebook wall and emails have been on fire the last three weeks promoting all sorts of great events, from donating blood to weeding gardens. Word on the street is that we’re ahead, but there’s no room for losing steam now.
For the week, I’ve cast my afternoons in with the Middle Way House of Southern Indiana. The Middle Way House “offers many award winning programs and services to women and children victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.” Set next to a beautiful park inside what was once a Coke bottling plant, the newly renovated building harbors women and children in safety, surrounded by rich gardens that weave throughout the property. After I finished classes yesterday, I put on my jeans and work-boots and headed on over.
I met up with the undergraduate intern, Stephanie, who’s currently overseeing the MBA volunteering opportunities. Two other second-year MBAs, who are always getting involved in everything, were already ankle deep in mulch weeding out all the gardens and removing the straw from the previous summer when grass had been planet. I got on some work gloves, got myself a trowel, and got to work clearing up this beautiful opportunity.
We spent the lovely spring afternoon chatting about Little 500 coming up, our prospective internships and jobs, MBA student activities and just general knowledge about gardening (I learned a lot, I’m not much of a green thumb). It was a great way to spend the afternoon; and by the time we were done, three whole garden plots were clear of weeds, ready to be used in therapeutic gardening programs for the women and children of the Middle Way House.
I’m headed back tomorrow for a little more mulching and weeding, and I feel good about doing something for the community. Bloomington is a beautiful, wonderful community to spend an MBA education in, and it helps to know that I contributed to a tiny bit of that beauty on one little block. Volunteer when you’re here, you’ll feel good about it.

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