Service at the heart of alumni initiative

From main campus to Texas and at 20 events in between, the East Carolina University Alumni Association (ECUAA) is making an impact during an inaugural Days of Service initiative that started this week.

ECU Days of Service: April 18-23

The East Carolina University Alumni Association hosts the inaugural Days of Service.

“Service is part of our DNA at ECU, it is quite literally our motto – Servire,” said Amanda Murer, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. “This initiative is a point of pride for me and I am glad to see it come to fruition.”

ECUAA has organized or connected to service projects on campus and in the community in which everyone in Pirate Nation can participate. Volunteers can support veterans in the Storm the Stadium event, fight hunger, support the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge or help in an Earth Day project on the greenway.

Two projects which directly impact students include an online canned food drive and donations to a professional clothing closet. Restocking the Williams-Ross Purple Pantry, which helps students who face food insecurity, will fill the pantry’s list of needed items. Gently used professional clothing can be donated to the Professionally Purple Closet, a resource that provides interview/professional attire to students.

Murer said Days of Service is part of a fulsome engagement strategy for ECUAA and is a good fit for the organization because university alumni often volunteer for community service projects. Now the service project is also an alumni event in which they can connect with other members of Pirate Nation.

“It is important for the ECUAA to include service and social opportunities to engage every Pirate and it is important to give back to your community and to help others in need because it’s the right thing to do,” Murer said. “I will be volunteering at a few projects, but my absolute favorite part will be when all the projects are complete and I can compile the impact stats to see the collective impact made.”

Impact statistics will include the total number of projects, volunteers and service hours completed, as well as total estimated economic impact based on the national value of an hour of donated time.

Murer said some members of the ECUAA board members are leading projects for regional alumni chapters or helped identify organizations to ensure the initiative was inclusive of all communities in need. Board members also are participating in projects to officially kick off the initiative at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and the ECU Professionally Purple Closet.

“The ECUAA board has been supportive of this effort from the start with many members expressing their excitement that the organization can spearhead this kind of initiative,” she said.

Twelve regional alumni chapters throughout the state and beyond have organized projects for their communities. Projects include everything from a beach clean-up and prepping meals for families through the Ronald McDonald House to staffing water stations for a marathon. Visit Days of Service with ECUAA to learn more about chapter projects.

Murer said she is looking forward to participating in the initiative. The reward will be seeing pictures of happy Pirates, gathered in the name of ECU, completing projects for the greater good, she said.