VUJ students donate time in Day of Service

Photos by Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
Vincennes University Jasper employee Jayme Lindauer of Ferdinand, left, and student Christopher Graves of Dale shovel mulch during VUJ Day of Service at the Dubois County Humane Society in Jasper on Wednesday. Day of Service is an annual volunteer event held by VUJC. About 60 students volunteered at 8 different locations around the county.


JASPER — At the Dubois County Humane Society, the work is more than walking dogs and playing with cats.

That was the takeaway a group of Vincennes University Jasper students had after volunteering two hours cleaning out a shed and spreading mulch during the sixth annual VUJ Day of Service.

“It makes sense,” said Alice Sexton of Loogootee, who is studying nursing. “There’s work to be done, too.”

Sexton was part of the group spreading mulch across the muddy areas in the dog play yards.

This year, VUJ Day of Service attracted about 60 participants who split into groups and donated time at locations across Dubois County, including the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County ReStore, the Tri-County YMCA, the Jasper Chamber of Commerce and the humane society. The day is meant to teach students about nonprofits, philanthropy and the different ways they can get involved in their communities. The day kicked off with a presentation from Dubois County Community Foundation Executive Director Clayton Boyles about giving of time, talent and treasure.

“You have to ask yourself, ‘Who am I?’” Boyles told the group. “What am I good at? What do I want to be known for?”

Vincennes University Jasper students Darcy Olsen of Jasper, left, and Maricel Altmeyer of Huntingburg pack donated items into plastic bags during their Day of Service at the Dubois County Humane Society in Jasper on Wednesday.

From there, he said, you find organizations and community needs that align with your answers to those questions.

For Christopher Graves of Dale, a student in VUJ’s Career Advancement Program, answers to those questions generally led him to volunteer his time. That’s part of why he signed up for Day of Service.

“I just enjoy helping out,” he said.

For students Marcie Altmeyer of Huntingburg and Darcy Olsen of Jasper, the Day of Service was a way for them to fit volunteering into their hectic schedules and to learn more about nonprofit organizations in the community. As Olsen organized a storage shed at the humane society, for example, she found piles of blankets and other bedding the shelter uses to give the dogs something to cuddle up in while they’re in their kennels. Prior to that, she’d never thought of bedding being a need for the animal shelter.

As for the shelter staff, they were glad to have the extra hands to take on some of the maintenance work around the shelter.

“It helps us because we can focus more on the animals rather than taking time out of their care to do those things,” said Shelby Wendholt, the vet care coordinator for the shelter.

Anyone interested in volunteering at Dubois County Humane Society can fill out an application at Volunteers must be age 16 or older.

Dubois County Humane Society employee Shelby Wendholt plays fetch with Melanie, a dog available for adoption, after checking on Vincennes University Jasper students volunteering for their Day of Service at the Dubois County Humane Society in Jasper on Wednesday.

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