JHMV Calls Students to Serve Dayton

Approximately 120 CJ students and 18 faculty and staff members joined the community in service during Join Hands Miami Valley the weekend of October 24-25.

Join Hands Miami Valley (JHMV) is a celebration of the United Way’s “Make a Difference Day,” which is a national day of community service that annually falls on the fourth Saturday in October. This community-wide service collaboration is an opportunity for students to work together throughout their own communities.

“Our mission calls us to serve as Jesus did and it is a great way to connect and give back to our Dayton community,” said Kelli Kinnear, director of ministry and service. CJ continues to recognize this call to serve having made JHMV a fall tradition for well over 20 years.

This year, students volunteered for 18 agencies such as Catholic Social Services, the Marianist Environmental Education Center, and Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm, among others. Organizations like these are always excited to have CJ students.

“The CJ students are energetic, mature, and very helpful in doing whatever tasks are asked of them,” said Cathy Guerrant of Catholic Social Services.

Last year, students helped with a several-part project that would have taken a lot of time for the staff at Catholic Social Services to finish, but according to Guerrant, “the CJ students are able to work together to get this task completed.”

“Having Chaminade Julienne High School students support Aullwood’s Enchanted Forest is significant because it takes nearly 140 volunteers to make this event a success,” said Nina Lapitan, volunteer coordinator at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm.

Not only do students support agencies by serving as crucial volunteers at large events like Aullwood’s Enchanted Forest, but some also continue to volunteer with these organizations after graduation. One CJ alum has volunteered since his junior year and now holds multiple leadership positions in the events at Aullwood.

In addition to volunteering, students also have a chance to learn servant leadership skills, said Kinnear, while leading their peers at service sites. “Each site has student co-leaders. Their role is to contact the agency, confirm details with them, promote within the school, and then lead the other students the day of Join Hands Miami Valley."

This weekend, three CJ groups will volunteer together on campus, senior members of F.L.I.G.H.T. '15 will volunteer at Homefull, the Student Council will volunteer at Hannah’s Treasure Chest, and the men’s basketball program will volunteer with Rebuilding Together Dayton.

“This is a fun service experience that provides students the chance to work with other CJ students and get to know them,” Kinnear said. “It is a great opportunity for our students and staff to serve together in our Dayton community.”

Through various projects during JHMV, students get to work together to make a difference in their community and take part in a national initiative.

Fellow organizations that partner with the Dayton United Way by providing volunteers during JHMV include Cedarville University, Dayton Early College Academy, Kettering College, Miami Jacobs Career College, Sinclair Community College, Spring Valley Academy, the University of Dayton and Wright State University.