Even with gloomy skies and a chill in the air, students from Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), an accounting honors fraternity, gathered at Mid Central Community Action Inc. for the third annual CPA Day of Service. The day of service is a way for students to lend a hand to those in need.

“It is important to give back to the community,” said Debbi Lindberg, faculty adviser for BAP. “Even before the CPA Day of Service we have done service projects. For past projects we partnered with the Town of Normal on anything from pulling weeds to wrapping gifts for underprivileged children at Christmas.”

CPA Day of Service 2

Illinois State students prepare an area outside of the Mid Central Community Action Inc. building for installation of a bench on the CPA Day of Service.

This year’s projects had the 20 participating students dividing into three groups. Some prepared an area outside of the Mid Central building for installation of a bench. Others helped sort items at Neville House, an emergency shelter that provides assistance to individuals who have encountered domestic violence. A third group assisted with gardening at Mayors Manor, which provides individuals with permanent supportive housing.

The support from students is appreciated, especially when resources are scarce within the community.

“Most of our time is spent working with the tenants,” said Valorie Casson, Mayors Manor program coordinator. “We’d love to be out working on some of these projects, but our residents are our first priority.”

Fortunately, BAP students see the tasks as an opportunity to make a difference. Andrew Polykandriotis joined the group weeding the herb gardens at Mayors Manor.

“A lot of firms in the accounting world have service events,” said Polykandriotis, who is majoring in accounting and business information systems. “It’s great to establish a routine of being service oriented. It’s an opportunity for us to be not just good business professionals, but also good human beings.”

STATEside contributor Steven Barcus can be reached at srbarcu@ilstu.edu.