Cleaning fish ponds is not in the curriculum of the DePaul School of Accountancy, but a Vincentian education does include service–giving back to the community–so the Ledger & Quill Recent Alumni Group found themselves at Garfield Park Conservatory, Saturday May 7, doing just that as part of this year’s Vincentian Service Day.
“Two of our group cleaned out and changed the water plant pool where they may have saved ten goldfish from a not-so-good end,” reports L&Q service group instigator/organizer Zoe Soo Hoo, with her usual wink.
Vincentian Service Day, coordinated by DePaul University Ministry, harnesses the energy and enthusiasm of the DePaul community to serve many other communities throughout Chicago—churches, parks, neighborhoods, art centers, shelters, schools, community organizations; where there is a need, the Vincentian spirit moves to meet it, and with gusto. This year over 1500 DePaul students, faculty and alumni participated in the annual event. Meeting new friends, teaming up to better something, some sun an d sweat, a picnic and a T-shirt: what’s not to like?
“I look forward to participating next year or sooner,” adds Veronica Soto; “I felt I was contributing to Chicago and its beauty, and it was a fun event.”
The L&Q Recent Alumni contingent also included Board members Kevin Almady, Steve Whitecotton and Jon Assell, Jon’s wife Katie Assell, along with Daniel Namoff, Dunja Stefanovic, and Porschia Thomas-Quinn. Other members of the L&Q Recent Alumni Group include Executive Committee member Paul Wong, Allison Kezerle, and Board member Andrea Norder.
“It was a very roll-up-the-sleeves experience that required teamwork . . . and we all got our workout in for the day,” adds Almady. His team’s main effort was one most will appreciate: replacing a ton or so of soil, and caring for a withering cacao tree in the Conservatory’s Palm Room, assuring, well, chocolate.
And it was indeed work: “I’ve participated in lots of DePaul and L&Q activities over the last few years, as a student and an alum,” notes Stefanovic, ”but this was the first time I considered wearing boots.” Fish and chocolate aside, tending to the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the city’s jewels, was a very enjoyable experience. “Our effort was a huge success,” adds Soo Hoo, “and it was very satisfying to help out such a great attraction. Garfield Park is a beautiful facility, and right in our backyard.”
Volunteer Porschia Thomas-Quinn summed up: “While our work will not be seen immediately by park visitors, we left feeling satisfied that we contributed to the goals of the Conservatory,” adding a bit more the larger community. Some heartfelt outreach from one can make a world of difference to many. (St. Vincent said that.)
(For more information on DePaul’s Vincentian Service Day, visit www.serviceday.depaul.edu/)