St. Catherine University students and alumnae/i, along with faculty and staff members, spent a Saturday morning serving nonprofit organizations on the annual Citizen Katie day, October 13. Nearly 200 volunteers met on campus for breakfast before heading out to work sites on and around the St. Paul campus.
Citizen Katie volunteers participated in 11 service projects during the day.
In support of the St Kate's Food Shelf, volunteers worked in the community garden on campus. Produce from the garden is distributed to St. Kate's students experiencing food insecurity through the food shelf. Twice each month, the food shelf provides groceries, including fresh produce, to students and their families.
Also on the campus grounds, volunteers worked on a pollinator path to "build a path from the past to a more sustainable future." The project uses recycled bricks from campus as well as mulch from campus trees to create friendly spaces for pollinator species like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Sarah's ... an Oasis for Women is a regular on the list of nonprofits served on Citizen Katie day. Sarah's, a home dedicated to safety and dignity for a diverse community of women, is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Here, volunteers cleared and cleaned the garage, then reorganized items back into the space. Inside, volunteers sorted and organized a large quantity of linens for use at Sarah's and to be shared with other nonprofit organizations. On participant at this site shared, "I'm glad we were able to help them make better use of their space. We supported the women who live here."
Mapping Prejudice was new to Citizen Katie this year. This organization seeks to make visual the hidden history of race and privilege in Minneapolis. Volunteers helped by logging discriminatory racial covenants on land deeds in Hennepin County.
Volunteers at Keystone Community Services' Express Bike Shop, the St. Joseph's Home for Children, and the St. Paul Public Library in Highland Park helped with outdoor fall clean up and putting gardens to bed for the winter. The St. Paul Public Library volunteer coordinator shared, "As always, St. Kate’s is terrific for its community spirit of giving and hard work. You make better communities and you shine!"
At Dress For Success Twin Cities, volunteers helped to sort donated items, and assist clients with choosing professional attire.
Painting and hanging drywall were done by volunteers at a Habitat for Humanity home site in St. Paul. Outside, volunteers painted windows, trim and a side porch, while indoor volunteers hung ceiling drywall.
Residents at Carondelet Village and Citizen Katie volunteers played games together, and worked together on painting and craft projects.
In the ceramics studio at the St. Kate's Visual Arts Building, volunteers created pottery bowls for the St Kate's Empty Bowls Project. Later this year, there will be a soup supper where the bowls will be sold to support Open Arms of Minnesota – a nonprofit organization that delivers free meals to those suffering life-threatening illnesses.
On campus, volunteers helped prepare supplies and assemble feminine hygiene kits for the Minnesota chapter of Days for Girls. This organization provides washable and reusable feminine products to women and girls in locations where they are unavailable, allowing girls to keep attending school rather than missing days each month.
Citizen Katie began as a student initiative in 2004. In 2012, the event expanded to include alumnae, faculty and staff. Citizen Katie is a collaboration between Community Work and Learning, Residence Life, Student Center and Activities, The Center for Spirituality and Social Justice and Alumnae/i Relations.