May 2, 2017
An estimated 1,200 faculty, staff and students from Buena Vista University and Alta-Aurelia Community School District (AACSD) participated in BVU’s 104th annual Buenafication Day on May 2, contributing approximately 3,600 hours of community service.
On this day – which began in 1913 as “Hobo Day” – classes are not scheduled to allow students, faculty and staff the opportunity to volunteer their time to spruce up campus, help people in need, and do projects on properties of local public and non-profit organizations.
“Buenafication Day is one of our most beloved traditions at BVU,” said Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson, assistant dean for student life and director of civic engagement at BVU. “It is an opportunity to come together as a campus and to celebrate the community and all of their support for us, through service.”
According to Farmer-Hanson, each volunteer hour is projected to be worth $24.14 by the Independent Sector, so it is estimated that the day’s community service was an investment of $86,904 in the Storm Lake community.
This year, 75 BVU departments, student organizations, athletic teams and AACSD groups volunteered service at 50 locations on campus and throughout the Storm Lake and Alta communities, which included spring clean-up projects, landscaping, washing vehicles at the Storm Lake Police Department and more activities at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, the Buena Vista County Fairgrounds and the TLC Animal Shelter.
“Buenafication Day is one of our most beloved traditions at BVU. It is an opportunity to come together as a campus and to celebrate the community and all of their support for us, through service.”Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson
In the afternoon, BVU students assembled care packages for those in need by packing rice meals and dental kits. The group packaged 3,200 meals and 1,800 dental kits, which will all be given to families in the Storm Lake area. Many others contributed to the Sole Hope project where patterns were cut out from jeans and milk cartons and shipped abroad to create shoes for those in need. The day concluded with outdoor activities and a can drive on BVU’s South Forum Lawn.
“‘Education for Service’ is our institution’s motto and something that our students live daily through their service in Storm Lake year-round,” added Farmer-Hanson. “Buenafication Day is one of the many ways that we can show how much we value the people in the community, the non-profit organizations and northwest Iowa.”
Several area businesses and organizations donated food and supplies to Buenafication Day efforts, including Rent-All, K&B Construction, M&M Construction, Hy-Vee and the City of Storm Lake.