Alums across the country pitch in on Benedictine Day of Service
May 15, 2023
By Frank Rajkowski
College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University graduates joined together in April to show the Benedictine values they embraced during their time as students on campus remain a big part of their lives today.
A total of nearly 200 alums participated in the annual Benedictine Day of Service in mid-April, taking part in organized service projects at numerous locations across the country.
The volunteers packaged 38,646 meals and prepared over 444 pounds of groceries and/or personal care bags while collecting financial donations as well.
The event is a joint initiative of the CSB Alumnae Association Board and the SJU Alumni Association Board.
“It's been a great joy to watch the annual Benedictine Day of Service event grow over the years – both in individual participation from alums and in CSB and SJU chapter locations around the world,” said Becka Gross Clobes ’12, the CSB chapters committee chair. “We know Bennies and Johnnies love getting together, even more so when there is a shared common purpose that makes a positive impact in their local communities. The Benedictine Values shine through when our alums engage through the annual Benedictine Day of Service, and it's a win for all involved. We are eager to continue building momentum in future years as existing chapters strengthen and new chapters become established across the globe.”
“The Benedictine Day of Service event is a primary example of the CSB and SJU community coming together to impact the wider community,” added Scott Olson ’02, the SJU chapters committee chair. “It demonstrates our alums' strong connection to CSB and SJU and their desire to practice Benedictine values and display their pride for our institutions. As we continue on the path of strong integration, the collaboration between the alumnae and alumni associations at Saint Ben's and Saint John's and the student body around this event can serve as a primary example of how we are all more successful when we bring in diverse thoughts, skillsets and strengths.
“I'm excited to see this event continue to grow on the solid foundation we've been able to establish these past few years.”
CSB executive director of alumnae relations Valerie Jones ’94 said it is the willingness of the volunteer leadership to devote their time and effort that makes the day such a success.
“Benedictine Day of Service wouldn’t happen without the volunteer leadership of the planning team made up of members from both the CSB alumnae board and the SJU alumni board, as well as the individual chapter leaders from each CSB and SJU chapter location around the country and internationally,” she said. “It’s these Bennie and Johnnie leaders that make it possible for CSB and SJU to support all these great service events happening pretty much at the same time, and it’s a true expression of our nearest and dearest Benedictine Values.”
“It’s really just about our alums doing good work and giving back to their local communities,” added Adam Herbst, SJU’s executive director of university relations.
Here are more details of the good work done at different sites:
Central Minnesota Alum Chapter - 40 CSB and SJU alums partnered with Catholic Charities to prepare 15 personal care bags and collect $801 in monetary donations while also collecting other items for Catholic Charities Emergency Services.
Twin Cities Alum Chapter - 47 CSB and SJU alums, working in two shifts, packed 15,199 meals at Second Harvest Heartland, a food bank in Brooklyn Park.
Twin Cities Young Alum Community - 12 CSB and SJU alums helped package 94 total boxes and 20,304 total meals at Feed My Starving Children.
Mankato Chapter - 13 CSB and SJU alums did landscaping work and packaged various items.
Fargo-Moorhead Chapter - 26 CSB and SJU alums brought around 150 pounds of food and household cleaning supplies for the Emergency Food Shelf to a strategic planning event featuring CSB and SJU President Brian Bruess.
Milwaukee Alum Chapter - 13 CSB and SJU alums prepared and served breakfast to about 70 guests and raised $425 at The Guest House of Milwaukee homeless center.
Chicago Alum Chapter - 7 CSB and SJU alums helped package and provide 209 grocery bags for families at Care for Real Edgewater in Chicago.
Omaha Alum Chapter - 17 CSB and SJU alums helped pack 18,720 pounds of food into 1,170 community boxes at Food Bank for the Heartland.
Arizona Alum Chapter - 22 CSB and SJU alums helped pack 1,797 meals at St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix.
Washington D.C. Chapter - Four CSB and SJU alums helped collect $120 in monetary donations at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle - Social Justice Ministry.
Southern California Chapter- Three alums and their friends gave six hours of their time to volunteer at the Food Bank for the Heartland at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Hollywood.
If you are interested in organizing a service event for alums in your community in the spring of 2024, please reach out to either Valerie Jones ’94 or Adam Herbst ’99.
Bennies and Johnnies all across the country mobilized for Benedictine Day of Service on April 15.