SAO selects Community Partner of the Month

SAO selects Community Partner of the Month The University of South Dakota is pleased to announce that Sharing the Dream in Guatemala has been selected as The University of South Dakota Student Action Office's March Community Partner of the Month.

Sharing the Dream in Guatemala has been an important community collaborator with USD, and students have made notable impacts on the people of Guatemala. Pam Walton, a board member of Sharing the Dream, said the majority of students assist with marking, shipping and restocking the various products that are sold in the store. The profits received from many of the products are used to fund various projects including helping build a school, providing financial assistance to the orphanage Casa Guatemala located in the jungle, and starting a nutrition center in the mountains.�

Students also promote the mission of Sharing the Dream by "marketing to the university and community at large by sharing the story," said Walton.�Managing the store during business hours is also another way students get involved.

"Students become aware of the many needs of the Guatemalan people as well as gain an appreciation for how talented and resourceful they are in providing for their families," Walton said of the benefits students receive from volunteering at Sharing the Dream.�"They learn that even though we are from different countries and cultures, we have the same dreams for ourselves and our children."

Sharing the Dream in Guatemala is a project that promotes fair trade with cooperatives and small businesses in Guatemala. They are committed to providing fair wages and employment opportunities to low-income artisans which will result in creating sustainable markets for their projects. There is a diverse assortment of volunteer opportunities available at Sharing the Dream on Monday evenings, afternoons throughout the week, and during the day on Saturday.�Additional volunteer oppor- tunities and information on Sharing the Dream can be found at the SAO's Community Partner of the Month link sao/Action/cpm.cfm.

The Community Partner of the Month award was created by the SAO to feature local agencies so the campus and community may learn more about the agency's mission, services provided, clients they serve and available volunteer opportunities. The SAO works to identify and promote community needs that can be met by students through service-learning.�By connecting USD students and faculty to community agencies, the SAO empowers students to make their own connections with the world around them for greater knowledge of their community, appreciation of differences, and commitment to civic participation.

The SAO is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service AmeriCorps *VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Program, in addition to a grant from the Midwest Consortium for Service Learning in Higher Education, a Learn and Serve America grantee.� For more information, contact the Student Action Office at 677-6338, or

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