Victor Fest service day benefits the community

Students gathered in the bottom floor of the James C. and Rachel M. Votruba Student Union at 11:30 AM on Saturday for the Victor Fest Day of Service event.

200 students signed up to help out and meet other students, according to Alex Collins, Americorp Vista volunteer coordinator.

“Freshmen dominate the event,” Collins said. “But all students and organizations are welcome.”

Every year, the Freshman Service Leadership Committee (FSLC) sponsors the event which extends out to several groups and organizations in the area. The event tries to keep the service sites relatively close to NKU so groups can carpool and not travel too far. This event keeps students coming back each year.

“It’s been around at least eight years,” Tiffany Mayse, assistant director of FSLC, said when discussing how long the event has been around.

This year, the Day of Service helped clean up the Alexandria Fairgrounds, mulch and weed the area around Woodcrest dorms, help out at the Santa Maria Community Center, and help out the “Wine Over Water” event at the Brighton Center later that night.

Another place that the groups volunteered at is the First Baptist Church down by Lowes and Larue Lanes. Groups helped put on a free festival for the kids around the area so they can win prizes like school supplies.

Other students were in First Baptist’s Pantry of Hope helping organize food, toiletries, and clothing. The pantry has been open for about eight years and services over 200 people. Families can pick up school supplies for their children as well as pick up four packages of meat, toiletries such as tampons and diapers, and any clothing they might need.

The pantry won the Good Neighbor award in Highlands Heights, Ky. last fall for their efforts in helping the surrounding community.

“It’s me and two other volunteers,” Brandy Medaugh, director of the food pantry and NKU graduate, said. “And that’s dwindling.”

According to Medaugh, the pantry is not funded by government or church. All the items are donated for the community. Because of the students’ help on the Day of Service, a lot of community service work gets done.

“We reached out to NKU about six years ago,” Medaugh said.

Medaugh encourages students to return to the pantry to help out. The Pantry of Hope is open Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.. It is a no-questions-asked pantry which allows families in the Northern Kentucky area to receive essentials once a month.

Students were split into different groups to sort the goods and items. The pantry was filled with students sorting items and talking the whole time.
“There’s a social aspect,” Ben Read, junior and co-director of Northern Kentucky Leadership, said. “Students mingle, have fun while helping the community.”