By Sarah Heitman
Newly expanded Y-Days, a BYU tradition dating back to 1906, provides an opportunity for busy students to give service on campus.
The weeklong event, sponsored by the Center for Service and Learning, takes place at various campus locations March 14-19. This year?s Y-Days includes nine service projects, an increase from the two projects completed last year.
Julie Baker, community service coordinator for the Center for Service and Learning, said she hopes students who participate in Y-Days will see the value of serving others.
?Often students are very busy with school, work, church callings and other things that call for their time and they don?t feel they have the time to serve in their community,? Baker said. ?Most of the Y-Days service opportunities are held here on campus where busy students can stop by for 10 minutes or an hour and help make a difference in someone?s life.?
Students can stop by Brigham Square to sign up for service projects. More than 100 volunteers dressed in white Y-Days T-shirts will be in the square and on campus to assist students in signing up. Students who sign up for a service project will be sent a reminder for the project they wish to participate in.
Service projects will be throughout the week. One of the service projects will be painting 1,000 toys for the Happy Factory, an organization that takes toys to needy children throughout the world. Students will assemble and decorate toys each day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Brigham Square.
Tuesday, volunteers can make ABC books for children through the LDS Humanitarian Center. Wednesday, volunteers can make backpacks and coloring books for United Way of Utah County. Thursday, students can help disabled children create St. Patrick?s Day cards for local care center residents. Students can also volunteer to clean up I-15 on Saturday.
During Friday?s finale at noon in Brigham Square a slideshow of the week?s events will be shown and members of Utah Healing Arts, a local group that brings music to hospitals and care facilities, will perform. BYUSA president France Nielson will be the master of ceremonies.
According to the Y-Days mission statement, Y-Days supports the BYU motto ?Enter to learn, go forth to serve,? by involving students in meaningful service so that when they leave the university they will continue to ?go forth and serve? for their entire lives.