Oklahoma State has proven it is all about bridging the gap between its students and the community of Stillwater.
With this philosophy in mind, it brings upon unique opportunities for both the students and residents, such as this most recent event, Into the Streets.
Into the Streets is a day of community service where the students of OSU get to give back to the community of Stillwater by doing yard work for residents in need.
Assistant Director and Committee Chair of Into the Streets Cale Sawatzky put a lot of time and effort into putting on such an event, especially during a time of a pandemic.
“My role this year for Into the Streets was assistant director,” Sawatzky said. “As assistant director, I worked with our two head directors to oversee the different committees along with various tasks to make sure the event ran well.”
And by the looks of participants’ social media accounts and the words of other members in Stillwater, this event was a big hit making it hard to pick a singular special moment.
“My favorite part of this weekend is getting to hear countless stories from all of the residents saying how much they appreciate everything that we do,” Sawatzky said. “It is very fulfilling to know that all of the hard work planning the event truly pays off in the end.”
Especially in 2020, planning an event during this time is a challenge within itself. For Lizzie Schneider, chair of the sponsorship committee, the added difficulties and precautions made the success even more memorable.
“Although everyone was physically distant, I saw people come together in ways that I don’t think could be achieved except through service,” Schneider said. “Yes, our goal is to serve the elderly of our community by helping to clean up their yards, but the personal benefit is also amazing. In these somewhat dreary times, Into the Streets allowed us to share some joy with the Stillwater community.”
While it seems that many businesses had been hit with the pandemic, the support for the community, whether verbally or monetarily, did not falter.
“These are tough times but as a sponsorship executive, I was extremely proud of how helpful and supportive the community continued to be,” Schneider said. “We were able to rely on all the consistent donations we usually need in order for the event to be a success. And it definitely was a success.”
Freshman Jenna Williams also found this event to be more than just another service opportunity, but a chance to get to know others better while making an impact on her new community.
“I loved getting to work together with my team to accomplish this huge yard that was completely covered in leaves and getting to see how happy the lady was who we had the opportunity to help,” Williams said. “I would recommend Into the Streets because it is a great way for us college students to give back to the Stillwater community and serve others.”