How many of you have ever spent a couple of hours volunteering? Perhaps you were serving or preparing food. Or maybe you were cleaning up a park or a roadside. How many of you left that day feeling great—wondering why you didn’t do it more often and promising yourself you would start making it a regular part of your life? And then how many of you actually followed through on that promise?
The Global Citizenship class at Minnesota School of Business in Richfield is a course that brings together students from all different career paths—students from the accounting program to the gaming program. The course is described in the catalog as an “interdisciplinary social science course” that “explores the influence of community on global citizenship.”
What does that mean?
It means many things, both complex and simple. It could bring up existential questions, like what’s your role in the universe. It could be as basic as just giving back. A combination of the two is what our students focus on while here at MSB. The students spent their class time this week at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan. When I heard about this opportunity, I decided to join in on the experience. When I arrived, I said hello to instructor and dean of faculty, Lisa Kilmer, and I asked where to sign in.
“Are you here just to take pictures?” Lisa asked, referring to my unofficial role as campus photographer. I responded with an emphatic “no.” I was inserting myself into this story.
So I tagged along with Lisa and about 15 of her students. We learned about Feed My Starving Children and what we were there to do. From their website: “Children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and we ship the meals to nearly 70 countries around the world.”
The music was playing, the energy was high, and we all worked together: scooping, bagging, sealing, packing. It truly was work,which took some of us by surprise.
“Packing vitamins is a full-body workout,” said IT student, Joe Kigin.
And pack we did. All in all, everyone there during that one hour (we were joined by another organization, so there were 36 people altogether) packed a total of 65 boxes, which boils down to this:
- 14,040 meals
- 2,340 packages of food
- 39 children fed for an entire year (What did you do today?)
It left us with a somewhat indescribable sentiment—a fullness of spirit, a sense of fulfillment, a feeling of whole.
“I really want to bring my 11-year-old daughter back here so we can do this together,” said medical assistant student, Kristine Awaijane.
I made a promise to myself in that moment. When my toddler daughter is old enough, I want to make volunteering a part of our lives—a thing we do as a family, not just because it’s a required course or a work outing. I don’t want this to be a fleeting, in-the-moment promise. Hold me accountable, people!
Global Citizenship isn’t just a class you take in college. It’s your life and the world you live in. Make it good.