“I’m passionate about service,” said Cainan Ming, the 2015 Project Impact coordinator. “I’m passionate about helping people. I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces. And I love seeing people smile after helping someone.”
For the past 35 years, Union College has taken a day off from classes at the beginning of the school year dedicated to serving the Lincoln community. For many students, Project Impact is the start a lifetime of giving back to the community.
“Union’s spirit of service is contagious,” said Ming, a sophomore English Education major. “Everyone here is so willing. People are excited to come out and make sure the different projects get completed.”
Ming, who comes to Union College from Bermuda, has been working all summer to connect with organizations, schools, and individuals in Lincoln who need a group to come and help during Project Impact. Ming hopes that Project Impact will inspire his fellow students to continue serving the community all year long.
Last school year, Ming dedicated much of his time to working with People City Mission, a local organization dedicated to helping Lincoln’s homeless population. Towards the end of the school year, he even worked out a schedule for Union students to host a worship service with People City Mission residents once a month.
“Service isn’t just a one-day event,” Ming said. “I hope that for this year people will get a sense of joy for helping others and that people will revisit the sites through the year to continue the community service project. I don’t want us to just take one day of the year, I want these service projects to continue.”
With over 70 sites expecting volunteers, Ming is excited for the outcome.
Begun as project BRUSH (Beautifying Residences Using Student Help) in 1981, Project Impact is the longest running college or university community service day in the nation. Since then, more than 20,000 volunteers have given more than 125,000 hours to the Lincoln community.
In celebration of Project Impact’s 35th anniversary, Agnes Marburn, Junior Pre-Nursing major, has worked with Ming to coordinate a special surprise.
“The theme this year is Celebration, because it’s Project Impact’s 35th anniversary,” Marburn said. “We’re proud to have the privilege of coordinating the largest service event in the region, and we want others to celebrate with us. We also have a special surprise coming, but I can’t say anything else, because it’s a surprise.”
Project Impact: Celebration 2015 will kick off with the traditional breakfast and group photo at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 10, under the clock tower on Union College’s campus at 3800 S. 48th Street.
By Natalie Bruzon, student writer