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Circle K club hosts ‘Turning Over A New Leaf’

Lillian McGill | Monday, November 11, 2013

On Saturday, members of Circle K, the largest student-run service organization on campus, braced the cold and raked leaves in the greater South Bend community.

Circle K club president Mina Golubovich said the annual event is titled “Turning Over A New Leaf” and is one of the many volunteer opportunities the club sponsors throughout the year.

“We went into the community and raked leaves for South Bend residents who can’t do so themselves,” Golubovich said. “We had about 100 people turn out for it and we cleaned over 32 houses and community lots.”

Circle K, associated with the international service organization Kiwanis, partners with several community organizations, including: Catholic Worker House, Center for the Homeless, Dismas House, Hannah and Friends, the South Bend Humane Society, La Casa de Amistad, Logan Center, Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Queen of Peace Catholic Church and School and Saint Mary’s Convent, Golubovich said.

With over 12 partner organizations and multiple volunteer opportunities every day of the week, club president Mina Golubovich said members have flexibility with their schedules.

“A lot of our volunteers that do go to a specific site end up returning every week,” Golubovich said. “But if you have a busy week or a test coming up, it’s not a big deal if you don’t make the shift.”

Service projects include bowling with the Logan Center, where members bowl with adults with disabilities, preparing and serving dinner at the Center for the Homeless and tutoring recently released prisoners at Dismas House, Golubovich said.

Sophomore Annika Fling said her favorite Circle K project involves visiting retired nuns at Saint Mary’s Convent.

“They all have amazing life stories and share all their goodness with us,” Fling said. “We’re doing service, but really they’re serving us more than we’re serving them.”

In order to coordinate logistics, Hilary Johnson, the club’s vice president of service, said Circle K employs commissioners for each project.

“Anyone can volunteer to be a commissioner, but there’s really no compensation for it,” Johnson said. “They’re the ones responsible for coordinating the volunteers and providing transportation to and from the site.”

On Dec. 8, the club will be hosting one of its signature events called “The Aiden Project”, Johnson said. She said it involves

making fleece blankets for cancer patients.”It’s our biggest project of the year,” Johnson said. “We rent out an entire side of South Dining Hall, spend around $3,000 on fleece and make 500 blankets or more.”

In order to fund these projects, Golubovich said the club relies on donations, a tomorrow fund and various fundraisers.

Johnson said all students are welcome to participate in service through Circle K’s projects and events.

“We do have a membership fee, which lets you join the larger Kiwanis International Organization,” Johnson said, “but you don’t have to be a member to participate in projects.”

Golubovich said Circle K’s centers projects on its three tenants of fellowship, leadership and service. Through these tenants the organization works to be a force of good within the community, she said.

“I think one of my favorite parts is just the fellowship because you’re brought together with people who love doing service just like you,” Golubovich said. “You build relationships both with your fellow volunteers as well as the people at the actual sites.”

Students interested in becoming involved with Circle K should attend one of the club’s weekly meetings at 7 p.m. on Sundays in the Notre Dame Room of LaFortune.

Contact Lillian McGill at lmcgill@nd.edu