Silver Lake College’s Student United Way kicked off its book drive and community garden project Wednesday during its Spring Forum.
Members of the SLC community are being asked to donate books, which can be placed into cardboard collection boxes in the Ariens Family Welcome Center and in the Clare Hall lobby through April 25, said Alex Herman, president of the Student United Way.
The books will help stock the Manitowoc Noon Rotary’s Little Free Libraries planned for installation in the community later this spring.
The audience was shown the United Way Manitowoc County video, “Statisticks,” which presented grim figures including this one: 61 percent of low-income kids in Manitowoc County live without books.
“Books should be available for all children,” Herman told the audience. “(Reading) is such an important life skill to have.”
The group also is signing up student, staff and faculty volunteers for the national United Way Day of Caring project, which will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 25. It involves installing garden beds, planting trees and creating pathways in the Grow It Forward community gardens near Monroe Elementary School, Herman said.
Sign-up sheets are posted outside of the Campus Ministry office.
The Grow It Forward Gardens make it easier for area residents to have accessibility to healthy, locally grown foods, said Amber Daugs, co-founder and president of the gardens.
Two of the Little Libraries are planned for the community garden area, and Herman is hoping for donated gardening books or cookbooks for those libraries, she said.
The Student United Way, which began in September 2014, evolved from a group of Generose Scholarship recipients to an organization for all students, Herman said.
In addition to Herman, Thao King is vice president; Ceasar Crayton is treasurer and Randy Gruenweller is designer. Erin LaBonte, Assistant Art Professor, and Tommy Nelson, Director of Campus Ministry, are advisers.
Other projects by the Student United Way included taking part in fall and spring Community Service Day. The group sold personalized Sweetest Day cards and holiday yard signs to raise money. Members collected winter clothing items and distributed them to the needy.
They also took part in the Lincoln High School United Way basketball game. In addition, its more artistic members helped paint a mural in the fitness room at The Gardens at Felician Village senior living community.