Share the Love Event

Hannah Kramer, Arts and Life Editor

Share the Love Event 

On Thursday February 13th  The Share the Love event took place here on campus outside forum 102 in the cozy campus lounge. Hosted by the Center for Career and Personal Development, this event brought up many ways that Buena Vista University could help build a stronger relationship with the Storm Lake community through volunteer opportunities. Organizations such as Justice For Our Neighbors, Multicultural Day of the Child, 2020 CensusLeague of United Latin American Citizens, Iowa State University Extension and Parade of Nations were all seated in attendance.  

I was meeting with a couple of community members, we were having coffee and we were talking about what are the needs of the community, and they said what we really need is some students to help us out, they [community nonprofits] just have work that needs to be done. These are nonprofits that don’t have a lot of resources to hire people and they rely on volunteers, and that coffee conversation led to planning this event,” Annamaria Formichella the Director of Strategic Initiatives here at BVU said.  

A conversation over coffee led to planning the Share the Love Event. The initial idea was that if the community partners came to campus students could have the unique opportunity to hear about which organizations needed help and then take action. Making connections with the students is why so many organizations attended the event.  

 “Maybe if they [students] heard about something that connected with some kind of passion or personal goal they had, then it would be a good opportunity to bring people together,” Formichealla explained.  

Unfortunately not as many students showed up as anticipated being it was the same night as the Plunge, but those who could decided to sit in on the conversation. The intention to bring the leaders of these organizations to campus was to introduce them to the BVU students in order to develop a personable connection in hopes that the invitation would be reciprocated effectively eventually.  

“Perhaps, [another event would be hosted on campus] when we initially talked about the plan it was because this, the members of this organization [and] the members who came to campus are part of an organization called Salud– it’s a bunch of different community organizations that are trying to make the community better. So when we first started talking it was that the Salud members would come to BV to meet the students and then maybe the students would come to a Salud meeting in the community,” Formichealla elaborated.  

Whether it will work to reverse the invitation is up in the air, although that does not mean current or future opportunities to get involved in the community are at a standstill. Many clubs on campus already volunteer and venture out into the community, although more students could get involved. Volunteering to get a good grasp on general non-profit work has a personal benefit as well as a professional benefit, which are both valuable in different ways. Reaching out into the community in which we live, year round or even just while school is in session, is a face to face way to develop connections with those we share a town with. On the more professional side of things volunteers can learn communication skills as well as build up their resume.  

“There’s more and more attention paid by employers to community service work that students have done when they graduate,” Formichealla said.  

  • The 2020 Census is working on  something called the complete count. They would like to bring awareness that the census is coming and they want people to participate to ensure it is as accurate as possible.  
  • Justice For Our Neighbors meet at Methodist church on Sundays from two to five. This group focuses on helping people with applications for citizenship, even some people who may be undocumented who need help with getting an ID or getting documentation.  
  • The Iowa State University Extension works with 4H and needs volunteers to help with running activities for younger children. Some of the activities would include teaching crafts, which could be a great opportunity for some Education Majors here at BVU. This group also needs help with marketing and running their social media.  
  • The Storm Lake High School is starting a food pantry, volunteers would needs to help load, unload and distribute the food.  
  • LULAC would like help getting voters registered, which is great prep for the upcoming election.  
  • Multicultural Day of the Child is a one day event that takes place on September 26th 2020. They would like volunteers for helping to promote and organize the event 
  • Iowa Central has English language classes for people who are learning English and they’re looking for conversation partners. Which that would be sitting down with someone and being willing to have a casual conversation to help them learn English 

Many college towns find themselves having a huge division between the university and town itself. However, BVU considers itself an extension of the Storm Lake community and is always looking for more ways to strengthen the bond that is already there. As Beavers we build, and nothing is better than helping build up the community in which we are a part of.  

“We live in a community that has a lot of diversity and a lot of resources and opportunities but it also has a lot of needs. I think it’s cool when we can, you know help out with that and figure out what the community needs, and [then] reach out and try to fill some of those needs so I’m happy we can make these connections-,” Fromichealla concluded.  

Listed below is the contact information for a few of these organizations, the best way to get involved is to directly contact them or reach out to Annamaria Formichella 


[email protected] 


Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Buena Vista County  

824 Flindt Drive Storm Lake, IA 50588  


Day of the Child Multicultural Festival 

[email protected]  

The Bridge Of Strom Lake  

[email protected]  


League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 


Facebook: LULAC Storm Lake