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Students cover Omaha metro in service

College of Saint Mary (CSM) in Omaha sent out its students, faculty, staff and administration today to participate in volunteer efforts across Omaha as part of Spirit of Service Day.

The annual effort encourages all CSM community members to follow the example of the College's founders, the Sisters of Mercy, to assist those who need help.

"The whole purpose is to get the entire CSM community to serve others," said Katty Petak, assistant dean of students. "Education for the professions and for service is the foundation of who we are."

The volunteers gathered for a kickoff breakfast at 8 a.m. and then departed to locations all over the metro to perform either a half-day or whole day of service. Many of the College's classes are canceled to allow students to participate, and no student can be penalized for missing a class to serve. At the end of the day, the workers will gather for a celebratory picnic.

"We evaluate every activity afterward," Petak said. "We want the students to have a good experience so they're more likely to volunteer again."

College of Saint Mary is a personal and professional launch pad for women serious about attaining high achievement in all aspects of their lives. It provides dynamic opportunities for leadership and personal growth within a uniquely supportive and comfortable environment. More information about CSM can be found at

Spirit of Service Day Activities

Council Bluffs Habitat for Humanity - house construction

EPS Essential Pregnancy Services - stocking, cleanup and folder-stuffing

Heart Ministry Center of Sacred Heart Parish - stocking food and preparing care packages

Heartland Family Services Senior Center - socialze and play games with residents

Heartland Familly Services Solomon's Girls Center - cleaning, helping students with homework

Love's Jazz and Arts Center - general office work

The (Omaha) Food Bank - delivering information to area stores

Radio Talking Book Services - transcribing and office work

Mason Apartments of Mercy Affordable Housing - painting and cleaning

Crestview Village Mercy Affordable Housing - tending spiritual garden planted by last year's workers

Women's Care Center of the Heartland - sorting and organizing donations

Mercy Villa - choir performance

The Ronald McDonald House Charities - general housework

Eastern Office of Nebraska on Aging - cleaning and painting

The Micah House - cleaning, painting, organizing and food preparation

Latino Peace Easter Egg Hunt - filling Easter eggs for hunt

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