USD students serve homeless in Omaha

USD students serve homeless in Omaha Twelve students at The University of South Dakota participated in the first overnight service project offered by the university's Student Action Office. The students volunteered over 130 hours to serve homeless men, women and children in the Siena/Francis House in Omaha, NE Nov. 12-13.�

The Siena/Francis House is Nebraska's largest shelter providing food, shelter, clothing and medical attention to individuals in need of help. The house also offers counseling and support for alcohol and drug abuse, access to educational opportunities, help with legal issues and jobs at the facility which give valuable skills to be used later in life.�

The students worked in the kitchen to prepare and serve meals, made sack lunches for emergency situations and for those who needed a lunch to take to work, sorted donations, hung Thanksgiving decorations, and even created some decorations of their own.

Guests at the house commented repeatedly that the USD students' energy was very much appreciated.

Sophomore Laura Tschetter said, "Not only did I get to know a lot of the people at the shelter, I learned a lot about the spirit of people. So many of them were affected positively by the group and our shining attitudes. I have been so fortunate in my life; these people have only minimal things in theirs, and I will never take what I have for granted again."�

Participants included:� Becky Murphy and Khoa Pham, Sioux City; Blake Krumbach and Eric Cotton, Parker; Brandon Silver, Rapid City; Brittany Larson, Erwin; Dana Reinholdt, Cherokee, IA; Kara Tilstra, Sioux Falls; Kevin Yackely, Onida; Krista Ericson, Alcester; Laura Tschetter, Vermillion; and Rick Bitterman, Delmont.

This Alternative Weekend was planned and executed by the Student Action Office.� Funding for this experience was provided through a grant from Learn and Serve America through the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education.

For more information, contact Jacquie Lonning, student action coordinator, at 605-677-6337 or

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