Service- A career and life choice for MUNSA students

By Laura Sweeney

Community service and volunteer work occurs throughout the campus and year round at Madonna University.  However, there's something about the holiday season that encourages students, and all people, to give back.  Madonna nursing students are no exception.

The months of November and December brought many activities for the students of MUNSA (Madonna University Nursing Students Association) to take part in.  On the road to a career of serving others, these students give themselves to the community.

To kick start the holiday season, MUNSA students volunteer at the Military Church in Detroit to serve a Thanksgiving meal the Sunday prior to the November holiday.  One of the busiest days at the church, the help provided means a great deal to the less fortunate and the students.

"Children, teenagers, adults and all types of families in the Detroit community benefit from the dinner provided by the Military church," said Kathleen Osiwala, senior in the nursing program. "We receive the gratification that we have helped many individuals, young and old, to enjoy themselves during the holiday."

The students learn the importance of not only helping fellow students and the community of Madonna, but to expand to other communities farther from the Livonia campus that can benefit from their service. 

"Our volunteer work and charitable events help a wide range of individuals and non-profit organizations," said Osiwala, co-chair of community health for MUNSA.

One of the many Madonna groups, the members of MUNSA enjoy the annual tradition of "adopting" families during the Christmas season.  Student Life and Campus Ministry joined together and provided gifts to numerous other families, as well. In 2010, MUNSA "adopted" four families in the southeastern Michigan community. 

"I think all the activities that MUNSA participates in have a purpose. Mainly we focus on giving back to the community," said Teri Weiland, nursing senior and MUNSA president.

Providing the children with toys and proper clothes for the winter months helped make sure that these families had a more enjoyable Christmas, without the everyday worries of life.  In addition to clothes and toys, MUNSA gave a grocery gift card to each family so that the parents can provide a warm meal. 

The impact that each student can make on one person or a whole family goes much further than some may anticipate when joining the MUNSA organization.  It's important to them to participate in community service activities throughout the year and not only during the "giving season."

"I could go on explaining all the wonderful events that MUNSA is a part of and that's why I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing organization," said Weiland. "Overall, all the activities are so important because of their focus to make a difference and each time we learn and we are able to make a bigger impact the next time."

Similar to past years, MUNSA students aim to continue their volunteer work and impact more lives in 2011.