“Project Transform” serves community, sets example

Mary Anne Andrews

Students, faculty and community volunteers began working to improve to five Bowling Green homes on Saturday.

This event called “A Brush With Kindness,” is WKU’s project with Habitat for Humanity and only one activity planned for WKU’s ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships and Student Activities’ Leadership and Volunteerism office’s “Project Transform.”

“Project Transform” is the ALIVE Center’s implementation of National Volunteerism Week. Activities started last Saturday and will last until Fri., April 27.

Aurelia Spaulding, Communication and Marketing Coordinator for the ALIVE Center, said the week is dedicated to transforming the lives of those in need. She said this year she is expecting more volunteers from more diverse groups than last year.

“A Brush With Kindness” lasted the entire week with volunteers working on exterior improvements for homes of those in need.

“We have seen the homes and met the families that we will be working with, and we are looking forward to making a difference in their lives,” Spaulding said.

Lexington junior Meredith Coleman volunteered at one of the homes last Saturday sanding and removing old shutters.

“It was a really neat experience overall,” she said. “I’m really glad I went because I was able to hang out with other Greeks as well as reach out and make a difference in the Bowling Green community.”

Coleman said she hopes to have the opportunity to participate in more projects like this in the future.

Another partnership for the week is Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The non-profit raises money to fight childhood cancer.

Emily Borgmeier is a marketing and communications intern at the ALIVE Center and was responsible for collaborating with the Foundation on campus. She said the stands will be set up on Monday at five location across campus.

This is the first year Alex’s Lemonade Stand has been a part of the week and Bormeier said she hopes they will raise awareness, as well as raise money.

The slogan for the booths is, “No matter the amount, every penny counts!”

Tuesday is “Donation Day.” Personal hygiene products, non-perishable food, children’s items and house wares will be collected in Downing University Center room 326. These items will be organized, divided into baskets and delivered to “A Brush With Kindness” family’s on Thursday, “Give Back Day.”

On Wednesday, the American Red Cross will hold a yard sale from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Centennial Mall to benefit disaster relief.

The week of volunteering will end on Friday with the end of “A Brush With Kindness” at 4:30 p.m. and the beginning of “Relay for Life” at 7 p.m. at Smith Stadium, lasting until 7 a.m.

“Relay” is the only return event for the week and boasts 33 teams and more than 500 participants, according to their website. As of Sunday, the event had raised $11,578 with five days remaining to pledge.

Brittany Ryan works in the ALIVE Center and said the week means a lot to the school and the community.

“I am really excited and hopeful that we can work hard to create a lasting impact on the lives of these families in our community,” she said. “Nothing is more meaningful than knowing that you’re making a difference in someone else’s life.”