Planning for a Day of Service



Jairdin Engen | Assistant News Editor

Buenafication Day is a Buena Vista University (BVU) tradition that happen each year, this year on May 1st. This day allows students go out into the Storm Lake community and volunteer. This will be the 101st Buenafication Day, and event planning has been going on since December. The planners include Students Mobilizing Outreach and Volunteer Efforts (Student MOVE) members, junior Hannah Zimmerman and senior Ashley Lage. They and the other planners have been attending bi-weekly meetings in order to organize the big day.

The planners are split into committees of three to five people based on what it is they are working on putting together. There are committees for organizing the opening ceremonies, food, work, designing the T-shirts, and every other part of the process. Director of Civic Engagement at BVU Dr. Ashley Farmer Hanson is spearheading the planning.

“We’re kind of her hands, and she is kind of the brain of the operation,” Zimmerman said. Hanson is also in charge of BVU’s AmeriCorps program and is responsible for having brought members like Lage onto the Buenafication planning team.

Students from 55 different groups including clubs, sports teams, and other campus organizations will be filling a number of roles in the community. Common volunteering options are nursing homes, the hospital, outdoor work, and assisting at the schools and on the BVU campus. Many students have the opportunity to visit the same service site more than once during their BVU career.

“Places that we have volunteered at in the past love having us come back,” Lage said. Zimmerman has been helping Hanson to coordinate volunteering at the sites.

“As Buenafication Day approaches I’ll have to start calling the service sites, checking in and making sure that they’re still ready for people and still willing to have volunteers come,” Zimmerman said.

Lage says an important part of Buenafication Day is giving people who wouldn’t normally volunteer the chance to do so. “There’s a lot of times that, maybe, this is the only time that some people volunteer,” Lage said. “I still think that’s a great thing that they’re at least taking one day out of the year to give back to the community.”

When organizing, the planners put care into making sure the things that will be done by the volunteers are meaningful and have a positive impact on the community as a whole, rather than just being ways for the students to fill time.

“We should be seeking out opportunities to actually help people, and fill real needs rather than needs that we think they have.” Zimmerman said.

With the event approaching, the planners are putting the finishing touches on the day. The day will begin with the opening ceremonies at 9:15, and breakfast sandwiches will be handed out afterwards. There will also be a lunch on the lawn and afternoon projects in Dows. The planners encourage students to check the BVU website if they have any questions, as a full schedule and job list for the groups is posted there. They also urge students to register at to give them a count of the people participating.

Graphic by Aaron Burns