Governor Snyder recognized Oakland University Monday night for its outstanding commitment to volunteer service. Nominated by the Baldwin Center for the 2012 Governor’s Service Award for Outstanding Volunteer Program, Oakland University was selected from a pool of 140 nominees to be one of five finalists invited to meet the Governor and be honored for its culture of volunteerism.
“Oakland University faculty and students have been instrumental in expanding our services in many ways,” said Lisa Machesky, Baldwin’s executive director. “The most impact has been in the area of health and wellness. They provided needs assessments along with program design, implementation, and evaluation assistance. Because we have such a small staff and budget, programs such as yoga, gardening, diabetes coaching, dance instruction, and the youth fitness model would not exist without OU.”
Since early 2011, over 400 Oakland University-affiliated volunteers (faculty, students, and staff) have come to serve at Baldwin Center. They have contributed over 1,400 hours of service to Baldwin Center through on-going programs (youth tutoring, Clothing Closet, kitchen service, gardening) and on various workdays (workdays are held every one to two months to address projects like painting, maintenance, repairs, and property improvements). The value of OU affiliated service is over $40,000.
OU Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Scott Crabill, who also serves as president of Baldwin’s Board of Directors, represented the University at the awards presentation. “A major role of the university is to advance the public good,” he said. “If we can take classroom lessons and connect them to community needs, it makes for a more enriching academic experience for students and faculty, and crucially, helps those in need. Baldwin has provided the setting for these experiences.”
The Governor’s Service Awards have honored volunteers and their contributions to the State since 1994. The Michigan Community Service Commission, which facilitated the awards process, honors outstanding volunteer programs for “the extraordinary work volunteers accomplish in communities is often driven by an organization or club. This award acknowledges the importance this support can make in community life. The nominees in this category strive to make communities better places to live through a variety of activities or by focusing on one issue of primary importance in their community. Schools, faith-based organizations, national service programs, nonprofit organizations, and service clubs are potential nominees.”