Tag: Service

Commitment to Service is More Than A Tagline

Commitment to Service is More Than A Tagline

Let me be honest with you: sometimes things are not what they seem.

(A shock, I know.)

Sometimes things are advertised or labelled without actually being true. Sometimes people say or write things that aren’t necessarily accurate in the hopes of catching your interest and hoping you’ll focus on other things instead of their tricks. (I’m looking at you, clickbait article headlines.)

I won’t name names or point fingers at other colleges and universities around the world, but I’ll tell you what I know: Loyola doesn’t do that.

(A shock, I know.)

Loyola really does have a huge commitment to social justice and social issues, commitment to service and cares about the individual. I could write a million blog posts on how Loyola really cares for the student, but I’ll keep myself focused on one particular topic – service.


First off, you might not know, but Loyola has Learning Communities that unite a group of like-minded people, whether it be Leadership, Honors, Research, or – you guessed it – Service & Faith. These people are very involved and are constantly involved in ways they can help.

Second, though (I believe) this is rote for all fraternities and sororities, our chapters are heavily involved in their charities and work tirelessly to go above and beyond to raise money for osteoporosis, the Ronald McDonald House, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and so on. There’s even a service-oriented co-ed fraternity, APO.


Third, clubs and organizations often do more than their focus. Honors Student Association, for example, not only hosts events and programs for Honors Program members but organizes weekly volunteer trips to places like Just Harvest to lend as many hands as they have. The Quidditch team raises money and support in ‘Febru-Harry’ for Relay for Life.

Fourth, Loyola requires every student to take at least one Service Learning class before graduation. This means that the class is tightly intertwined with volunteering and may require a set number of hours per semester at a site or other such actions that mean that the student and class are actively making a difference.

Fifth, Loyola has a program called Loyola 4 Chicago that sets up sites such as Misericordia or Sarah’s Circle and organizes groups of students that go weekly to lend aid. Though it may be nothing more than helping a person with developmental disabilities with their knitting project, they still emphasize the difference the students are making without, perhaps, realizing.


Although Loyola has many, many more ways that show how much both the student body and the administration are committed to service, I’ll leave you with these to think about. Of course you’re totally free to learn more, and if you have any questions I can help too! But trust me when I tell you Loyola really means every word they write on those stacks and stacks and stacks of paper they send in the mail.


Service to the Community

Service to the Community


To some, community service may be something not done very often; to others, it has become a big part of their life to help others.  For me, I love to volunteer my time at my local hospital, Swedish Covenant. Since freshman year of high school, I have dedicated my summer, days off of school (full and half-days), and weekends towards volunteering here. I suppose the motivation that keeps me volunteering is the idea (or dream) of being a doctor; I love to help others feel better and become stronger and healthier. This semester, I have scheduled to volunteer more frequently to show others and the hospital my true commitment and passion towards service by volunteering every other Friday at nighttime.

At the hospital, I work at a patient care unit (post surgery). My work is scattered- I answer call lights, I can organize charts, resupply inventory, help do sponge baths, feed patients, walk patients, help discharge, and so much more. The people I am with, most of the time, are CNAs and nurses because they have the most contact with the patient.

Working at a hospital is truly a blessing. I am always on my feet doing work and I always get to meet the people and (if I am lucky) talk and hear their stories on their family, jobs, dreams, and tragedies. With that being said, I sometimes build connections with people and surprisingly, I meet them outside of the hospital months later and get to check up with them on how they are doing.

All in all, I love what I do and I hope to continue to aspire to become a doctor for the given reasons (from volunteering).

Christmas on Campus

Christmas on Campus


For those of you who haven’t heard, Christmas on Campus is back for another year at Loyola.  It is an annual campus-wide Christmas event that aims to serve the children in the Chicago area.  Clubs and organizations volunteer to sponsor activity tables in Gentile Area, while individual Loyola volunteers pair up with a child and take them around.  The kids can enjoy all kinds of crafts and games like cookie decorating, letters to Santa, basketball with the Loyola players, and sitting on Santa’s lap.

The event is super fun and a great way to get involved.  The event organizers are currently looking for organizations and individual volunteers to help out.  The event will take place on November 24 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Visit the Facebook page to see how to sign up!

Chicago Hopes

Chicago Hopes

From my new friend Alexis

One of my favorite parts about Loyola is the number of opportunities for service that are presented to the students.  Being a service-oriented person, I have always been drawn to that aspect of my school.

When I was a freshman, I signed up for an organization called Loyola 4 Chicago.  What I didn’t know then was how involved I would soon become.  Loyola 4 Chicago (or L4C) is a service-based group that runs through the Center for Community Service and Action.  Students sign up for a semester-long commitment, and L4C sends them to various volunteer sites throughout the Chicago area.

I have volunteered as a tutor in three different locations since I joined L4C.  But my experience this year is unlike anything I’ve ever done before.  Currently, I’m volunteering as a tutor at Chicago Hopes, a non-profit organization that aims to serve the homeless children in Chicago.  Unfortunately, the average age of a homeless person in Chicago is 9. Consequently, the people at Chicago Hopes have their work cut out for them.

Chicago Hopes works in various homeless shelters throughout Chicago, though I have been working for one in Uptown called Cornerstone Community Outreach.  Located just off the Wilson Red Line, Cornerstone shelters homeless men, women, and children.  Chicago Hopes comes in every day to offer an after school program for the children staying in the shelter.

I have been working with a second grader named Alexis.  She may be small, but the girl is bursting with personality!  I usually have to remind her to start on her homework, because I think she would be perfectly content to just sit and chat for our entire two hour session.  Even though we’ve only worked together a few times, she is already talking to me like we’re old friends.

Chicago Hopes has been my first volunteer experience with the homeless, and easily the most rewarding.  I am humbled by the life and spirit that I’ve seen in these kids.  Without the stability of a physical home, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to focus on an education.  Yet the children of Chicago Hopes show up everyday ready to work.

And the motivation in the students is a clear reflection of the Chicago Hopes staff.  The entire organization is run by volunteers who have a vested interest in the lives of these children.  It is through their hard work and dedication that the organization continues to grow.

I would encourage anyone looking for service opportunities to take a look at Chicago Hopes.  Its name truly does it justice.

You Can Call Me MC

You Can Call Me MC

As a newcomer to the Loyola blog-isphere, I figured it was a good idea to start with a short introduction.  So here it is – a brief glimpse into my life at Loyola!

I am currently a senior majoring in English and Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a minor in Sociology.  Being a double major is no walk in the park, but having an interest in what I am studying certainly makes the homework load seem much more bearable.  I am on track with graduate in May 2014, and I am looking to go law school soon after.

Over my three years at Loyola, I have increasingly involved myself in things outside the classroom.  One of my true passions in life is people, and doing what I can to serve others.  Recognizing my role as a member of my Loyola community, but also a citizen of the larger global community, has given me a determination to give back.  On campus, I am on the leadership board of UNICEF and Loyola 4 Chicago.  I am also part of the planning team of an annual non-profit event called Christmas on Campus that serves the children in urban areas of Chicago that might not have a traditional Christmas experience.  Service and social justice have become very important to me, and Loyola is great at supporting those interests.

When I’m not on campus, I am taking advantage of life in the Windy City!  There are so many things to do, and sometimes it seems like four years is just not enough time to do them all.  I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio, so I came into college with the impression that I was somewhat adjusted to life in a city.  The two cities could not be more different.  My favorite part of Chicago is that there are always people to meet, places to be, and things to do.  While Cleveland has a special place in my heart, Chicago is certainly my home away from home.

I’m looking forward to living it up in my last year at Loyola.  So throughout my senior year, I’ll be recording all my Chicago adventures in this blog!  Enjoy!

Leading Loyola

Leading Loyola

One aspect that has truly changed my Loyola experience is the leadership and involvement on campus. Many people on campus not only are part of multiple organizations but also have started or are on the E board as well. If one is not involved in this way I can almost promise that they might be doing community service or have an internship or even be doing research with there favorite professor on campus.

I started my day by heading to the south side of Chicago to volunteer as a timer for a swimming competition at the YMCA. I brought up my community work at a mass I attended  tonight. Father Dorsey approached me and explained how he would like to help me get a job with a local dentist being that he has some connections in the area. This is why I LOVE LOYOLA!

Positions I currently hold:

– G Board for my fraternity Alpha Phi Omega (Co-chair of Fellowship)

– E Board for the Physics club (Secretary)

Global Brigades Leader

– along with being a part of various other organizations around campus

I came to Loyola somewhat worried about getting involved. I was shy and unable to communicate my opinions to a group of people. I am now a Junior with multiple majors and minors and I feel quite the opposite. I enjoy leading at Loyola and even more so helping people so that they can move to lead as well.

Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka

If you have ever been to Hawaii, you know that Hawaiians have a unique culture all their own. The spirit of “Aloha” (which means affection, peace, compassion, and mercy) greets you when you board a plane to the islands and holds on to you long after.

At Loyola, we recently took some inspiration from the warmth of Hawaiian culture to wish a very “Merry Christmas” to those in need. Earlier this month, Loyola students took the IC Plunge for the sixth year in a row. A benefit designed to provide awareness for students in northern Uganda, the IC Plunge is dedicated to Invisible Conflicts, an organization that seeks to bring attention to domestic and worldwide social justice issues that have been largely ignored by the media. Funds raised from the IC Plunge go toward schooling for children who have been displaced by wars in northern Uganda.

December 3 was a cool Saturday, just under 50 degrees, and the water in Lake Michigan this time of year is roughly 40 degrees. And while 50 degrees in Chicago in December is considered warm, it is a far stretch from the balmy Hawaiian island temps. Still, the spirit of Aloha was visibly present as Loyola students put on their best tropical weather gear to try to bring some awareness to the issues facing school-aged students in Uganda. Take a look.

The IC Plunge is just one of the many ways that members of the Loyola Community get involved and make a difference. See how you can make an impact.

We wish you the best this Holiday season!

Finally I Have Brothers!

Finally I Have Brothers!

Growing up I always wanted a brother.  When I came to Loyola I simply wanted to avoid Greek life. There was something about that just didn’t seem right for me  me.

Now, I realize that joining Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is quickly becoming one of the best decisions of my life.

Let me start by saying that APO is not the normal fraternity, not only do we not associate ourselves with any type of party scene but we are based around the idea of service. It is this idea that bonds the brothers and makes being part of APO so amazing. It was a fraternity based on Boy Scouts.

Last night I was finally initiated into this fraternity after a semester of pledging; never in my life have I felt so comfortable in a room of so many different people. I knew that every person in the room was there for me as I was there for them. From the wiffle ball tournament last weekend to volunteering at Snoozeum, the experience has been nothing less than amazing. I mean, seriously, what is cooler than playing in the Museum of Science and Industry after hours with all of your closest friends?

Also I should mention that APO is co-ed. Yes, I know, its not a real fraternity than right? Well this fraternity is based around the idea of brotherhood, regardless of the make-up it’s members. Personally, I would consider my new brothers closer to me than most of my family. After pledging for the last three months I have nothing but amazing memories, great stories and unbelievable friends to talk about.

So yes, I may have come to Loyola thinking that fraternities are horrible but the fact is that Loyola is so diverse that you never really know what you are going to find. And if you don’t find anything,  you are clearly not looking.