A mindful way to give back to the community

A mindful way to give back to the community


More than 200 Act 101/EOP students participated in Mandela Day activities this summer in observance of the worldwide day of service tied to Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Despite the extremely humid, mid-July heat students painted, mulched, raked, packed emergency food packages, moved furniture and much more.

This was the third consecutive summer students from the program visited local non-profit organizations and pitched in to make a positive impact on Bloomsburg University’s local community. And it was the fourth time in five years for the program here.

Sharon Solloway’s Mindset and Mindfulness Seminar is the “impetus for the participation of the ACT101/EOP students in the Mandela Day celebration each year. According to Solloway, mindfulness practice includes developing self-awareness of one's curiosity, openness, kindness and non-judgmentalism in the Present Moment as these impact personal and community relations.

Mandela Days

“Nelson Mandela demonstrated living in mindful self-awareness practicing openness, kindness, curiosity, and non-judgmentalism even while he was unjustly imprisoned for 27 years,” says Solloway, chair of Developmental Instruction. “The goal of our participation in Mandela Day stands as our opportunity to mindfully give back to the community of Bloomsburg practicing openness, kindness, curiosity, and non-judgmentalism in our service following in Mandela's footsteps.”

The students worked outside in the heat to help landscape the gardens at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Main Street. They joined in with counselors at the Bloomsburg YMCA’s summer camp to provide activities for children at the day camp.At AGAPE they painted areas that are being remodeled and worked to ready county food distributions. They sorted clothing and put together emergency food packages for those without enough to eat. #SenseOfCommunity | #CoCurricularLearning

“The service projects across the week give the ACT101/EOP students windows into the ways they can contribute to the community of Bloomsburg while they are students here,” Solloway says. “ Many students have returned to places like the Children's Museum and Agape during the school year to volunteer as a result of their experiences in these spaces during the Mandela Day celebration.”