January 19, 2011

'I Choose to Serve' event planned for Jan. 29

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- In celebration of the life and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. and others who have devoted their lives to service, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Student Development is organizing the event “I Choose to Serve” on Jan. 29.

Stop by the Newman Center at 715 W. Washington St. in Carbondale between 1 and 4 p.m. and help make cards of appreciation for U.S. military personnel. Organizers will provide all of the supplies you need. The campus’ Veterans Center is partnering with Student Development in this effort.

While you are there, stop by the display tables and find out about the various non-profit organizations in the region. Discover what they’re all about and how you can get involved as a volunteer.

Then, SIUC Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter is teaming with the Jackson-Union County Habitat for Humanity to sponsor a Pasta Benefit Dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Newman Center. The public is welcome to attend and all proceeds will go to the bi-county Habitat for Humanity to further its mission.

The Jackson-Union County Habitat for Humanity, which operates under the auspices of Habitat for Humanity International, is a group of friends and neighbors who have joined to help local residents obtain affordable housing. Walter Sickel is president of the board for the Jackson-Union County HFH, a group that accomplishes much thanks to the volunteers who give of their administrative and labor skills.

The donation for the dinner is $5 per person. The menu includes unlimited pasta, bread, salad and drinks.

During a short presentation about 5 p.m., board president Walter Sickel will speak briefly about Jackson-Union County Habitat for Humanity and what its volunteer force accomplishes. Toni Manzella, president of the campus HFH Registered Student Organization, will also speak and those attending may even get the chance to hear first-hand from a current Habitat for Humanity homeowner.

Donors for the fundraiser include Sam’s Club and McAlister’s Deli in Marion along with Fazoli’s in Carbondale.

For more information or if you’re unable to attend the fundraiser but would like to make a donation, contact Manzella at siucHFH@gmail.com. You may also send donations to Jackson-Union County Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 1064, Carbondale, IL 62903-1064.