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First-year UMM students engage in several local projects

First-year students at the University of Minnesota, Morris were engaged on a more local scale in making the world a better place for their neighbors by taking part in service projects during the campus' recent Welcome Weekend.

Twenty "Birthday Buddy" boxes were assembled, decorated to be party-ready and distributed to the Stevens County Food Shelf.

The birthday-in-a-box provides the party ingredients for children celebrating birthdays whose families rely on the food shelf for basic needs. The boxes' contents were donated by UMM staff and faculty and included a variety of items from a small stocking stuffer, gift bags and tissue paper, cake mix, frosting, candles, balloons, paper plates and napkins to toothbrushes, socks, books, art and school supplies.

Students also readied a shed for rehabilitation at the second Habitat for Humanity build in Stevens County and removed leftover sheet rock and other building materials from the basement of the house.

"They went above-and-beyond the call of duty by wiping down walls and floors of the basement to rid the area of sheet rock dust," said Carol McCannon, coordinator for Community Service and Volunteerism in the Office of Student Activities at UMM.

In another project, students weeded and removed trash from the downtown Hoffman Realty/Keepers pocket garden on Atlantic Avenue. Students also scraped, painted and cleaned walls at the downtown Morris Theatre Cooperative.