Ashford University Employees Participate in Community Service Projects

Employees at Ashford University have recently participated in several community service projects, providing support to local schools and organizations. 

As the new school year began, members of the Ashford Future Leaders Program collected eight boxes of supplies for Clinton schools.  “Each box was filled with a particular type of supply,” said Finance Planner Jaime Naughton. “For instance, we had an entire box filled with crayons, an entire box filled with glue and glue sticks, an entire box filled with paper and notebooks, etc.  We ended up not having enough boxes to carry all of the tissues, t-shirts and a few miscellaneous supplies, so whatever didn’t fit in the boxes was put in purple bags from the campus bookstore.  

The school district said it planned to distribute the supplies to underprivileged elementary school children and to use the Ashford T-shirts donated by the bookstore as door prizes during its fall kick-off event.  

“We were thrilled at the reaction of the school superintendent and other school administrators,” Naughton said.  “They seemed to be overwhelmed by our supply donations alone but were ecstatic to receive the $600.00 check we presented, as well.” 

Another team from the Future Leaders Program raised $1,679.00 through a community bicycle rodeo event and other activities for L’Arche, a non-profit organization that supports adults with developmental disabilities.

“The bike rodeo was an opportunity to teach the participants about bike safety, the rules of the road and to demonstrate safe riding skills,” said Steve Wehling, an Ashford academic resolution administrator.  The event featured free bike safety inspections, bike helmet inspections and the opportunity to register bikes with the City of Clinton to deter theft and to allow the police to easily identify the true owner of a stolen bike.  Participants also went through a course with several skills stations where they demonstrated proper hand signals, balance, braking/stopping and safe approach to an intersection. All participants received a certificate of achievement for completing the course and an Ashford t-shirt. Ashford’s St. Bernard mascot “Champ” was there to congratulate the participants. The event was free and open to the public.

“In addition to holding the rodeo, we wanted to raise money for L’Arche and we also wanted to raise awareness about their organization within our community,” Wehling said.  The group raised funds through a variety of events including a “dress down” day at the Iowa Online Center (IOC), chair massages and a silent auction. Several local businesses and individuals also gave donations.

“Our partnership with L’Arche is spawning a continuing relationship,” Wehling said. “The IOC is adopting L’Arche as a featured charity for its Christmas social responsibility project, and I understand that there is some movement to connect student groups with L’Arche for social responsibility activities, as well.”

Ashford’s Social Responsibility Committee has worked on a variety of recent community service projects, according to Nichole Friedrichsen, Ashford enrollment advisor and committee member. The group collected 40 backpacks, filled them with school supplies and delivered them to the West Carroll School District for victims of this summer’s flood. During a “dress down day,” $263.00 was collected for area flood relief. 

Nearly $700.00 was collected for Relay for Life through an auction, a “dress down day,” “penny wars” and other donations.  Ashford’s Iowa employees also raised more than $600.00 for the Veterans of Valor organization.

In October, the Social Responsibility Committee will host the Clinton area Big Brothers Big Sisters and Ashford University Campus Pals at one of the university’s home soccer games.  “Bigs” and “Littles” will be able to enjoy tailgating food, games, and the soccer game together.