"There have been various themes throughout the years, all addressing a need the community is facing," Walters said. "In order to promote vocation and to embrace the understanding and importance of it, these two groups worked together to actively implement these ideologies and to allow students to immerse themselves in the Springfield community in which they live."
Students served at the Springfield Fire and Rescue Division located at 350 N. Fountain Avenue. The group spent time learning about the first responders in the community, hearing their stories, and helping them clean vehicles, which is a daily routine for the firefighters. In addition, the students participated in a fun activity using fire equipment and making 25 signs to post outside each of the six fire stations in Springfield to show Wittenberg's support and appreciation of their work.
"Our goal was to allow students to gain an understanding of the mission and purpose behind why these vital members of our community choose to do the work they do and the importance of it in hopes of getting our students to think about their own purpose," Walters explained. "Firefighters are the first responders in many situations. With increasing financial strain, these first responders aren't adequately compensated for their challenging work, yet they still choose to do it. By allowing students to hear these stories and to gain insight as to the needs a community may face and why it faces those needs, we want to encourage students to discover their inner calling and how this calling can contribute to society."
Students had a reflection session after the event to digest their service experience and to incorporate the importance of vocation.
"The best part of this event was that it educated the students on issues going on in the broader Springfield community and gave them an appreciation for the work that the first responders do in combating those issues," Instenes said.