MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) - This Friday is the annual Ball State Day of Action which allows Ball State faculty to volunteer their time around the Muncie community.

Day of Action is a partnership between Ball State and the United Way. The United Way works to ensure a good quality of life for low-income families and Ball State helps their initiative with the various events and donations, especially during Day of Action. 

This year’s events include a book and hygiene drive where community members can donate old books or new or unused hygiene products, “pop up” readings at local daycares, and park cleanups. Krista Flynn, a Ball State employee and one of the event’s organizers, says while the Day of Action has been a part of Ball State for several years, it became a much bigger event more recently. 

“...it started to become a bigger Ball State community project when President Mearns came to Ball State and he decided that we were all better together and he wanted to see more of a response on the Day of Action,” said Flynn.

One of this year’s larger projects is the assembly of Little Free Libraries. Little Free Libraries are small stands typically placed around local trails and walkways that books from this years book drive will be displayed in. When a community member wants a new book to read, they take out a book they want and replace it with one of their own. Shanda Williams, a University Libraries employee and volunteer team leader, said the Little Free Libraries are important additions to the community.

“The Little Free Library is an organization nonprofit that establishes libraries where you can take a book and then you can give a book and I know it’s very important in communities. It is good for the social interaction for the community and I do know that we currently have a Little Free Library established here at Ball State University in the Department of English,” said Shanda.

Another project involves new installations at Emerson Dog Park, located right behind Ball State’s Fraternity Row. The installations include shade structures, new activities for the dogs and planters.

“We decided that the parks department would be a good place here in the city to partner with. We were trying to find something within walking distance so that employees could walk there...we partnered with the parks department and it’s a great project because right now the concrete’s crumbling and dogs are chewing up trees and the trees are dying and our benches are old and need painted so we just looked around there and saw some things that could be tightened up and beautified for the neighborhood and for the city,” Flynn said.

No matter the project, Flynn believes the day is important for the community as a whole.

“A lot of people that work at the university also live in the community so everything that we do benefits them on a personal level because this is where they live, plus on a level of feeling good to know that you volunteered and donated your time to help others in the community. I know we have projects with Little Red Door...we have several people going to daycares to read for kids as well as some beautification projects because where you live and what your city looks like is very important to your quality of life…” Flynn stated.

While the day mainly consists of faculty volunteers, students can help contribute by donating books in the book drive, hygiene products in the hygiene product drive or by donating money at invitedtoliveunited.org. More information about Day of Action can be found at bsu.edu/unitedway.

For any comments or concerns about this story, contact the author at emharless@bsu.edu.