The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) is excited to announce that Bring it Back to Normal, CCE’s spring day of service, is back! The event was cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The 2021 event will take place Friday, April 9.
Bring It Back to Normal is a day where Illinois State University students have traditionally been able to give back to their community by helping out neighbors in the Bloomington-Normal area through yardwork and different home projects. This year’s event, however, will be slightly different.
“This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, we are not sending students to neighbors’ homes,” said Blair Canedy, a graduate assistant in charge of community service projects for CCE. “We want to ensure that the event is as safe as possible for all involved, especially our neighbors, and most of the neighbors we typically work with are over the age of 65. That’s why we decided to focus on outdoor projects with Normal Parks and Rec this year—to reduce the contact of students with those who are a part of the most vulnerable population in terms of COVID-19 transmission.”
Students will still have the opportunity to do some work outside.
“We will be working to begin the refresh of parks to get ready for the spring and summer months by mulching and preparing three parks located in Normal,” Canedy said. “We also will have some students who will be helping to clear Constitution Trail of any garbage or debris.”
This is a great opportunity for any students interested in making an impact, getting outdoors, and helping improve the community. To allow for health and safety guidelines and physical distancing, registration will be limited. Make sure to sign up early if interested.
The Town of Normal is excited about the help this year.
“It is a great opportunity for us to get some things done in our parks while providing the students the chance to give back to the community that they will call home for four years,” said Gene Kotlinski, assistant director of Park Maintenance Operations.
“Participating as a volunteer develops and increases social and leadership skills,” Kotlinski said. “As students enter the workforce, these experiences will help them, especially as many corporate organizations encourage employees to give back to their community.”
With the University’s Homecoming celebration taking place this spring, Bring It Back to Normal will also be part of Alumni Engagement’s Homecoming Week events in April. Registration is typically limited to students, but alumni are encouraged to participate this year, too.
“Homecoming is a great way to get out and make a positive impact in the community,” said Stephanie Duquenne, a director in Alumni Engagement. “This week brings the community and campus together with Redbird spirit and pride. “Bring it Back to Normal is a perfect way to get out in the community and make a difference.”
Visit the CCE website for more information and to register.