Most students know that once every winter semester the Garden Court is filled to capacity with scores of clubs ranging from the “Weird Al” Yankovic Fan Club to the Biomedical Engineering Society.
BYUSA hosts Involvapalooza twice a year to encourage students get involved with other students and the community.
One of the aims of a BYU education is “lifelong learning and service,” and not surprisingly, many BYU clubs focus on service.
Here are five service clubs to look out for this Involvapalooza, which will be Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Garden Court of the Wilkinson Student Center.
This club provides inexpensive prosthetics to amputees in developing nations so that the people can work and play once again. It designs, builds and delivers the prosthetics as well as train clinics to continue the service.
The purpose of 2ft Prosthetics is to help students help others, the club’s press representative Katie Morrell explained.
“It’s giving them their life back. It’s giving them opportunities to become the people they’re meant to be, and it’s all through us, which is so humbling, to be God’s hands in this work,” Morrell said.
2ft Prosthetics helps students learn not only about engineering prosthetics but also about reaching out to businesses for funding, interacting with people and assisting those in need, according to club president Kelly Bickham.
“Most people in the club know nothing, absolutely nothing, about prosthetics when they join the club. It’s a huge learning curve, but that’s what I feel BYU is all about, learning to become leaders in this world,” Bickham said.
BYU and UVU students founded the club in an effort to use their education for the benefit of others, and since its creation, 2ft Prosthetics remains a student-run organization under the advisement of BYU professor William Pitt. 2ft Prosthetics has traveled to El Salvador, Tonga, Guatemala, Micronesia, and Costa Rica.
BYU’s Circle K is one of many Circle K’s across the world. Kiwanis International sponsors the collegiate service program, and BYU’s Center for Service and Learning hosts the Circle K program.
Circle K volunteers go to the Utah State Hospital every other Saturday where they play with the children who live in the hospital. This service helps fill the need for positive social interaction, according to the BYU Circle K Board.
Other service projects abound. This Valentine’s Day weekend Circle K will put on the a dance at a retirement home, and other service projects abound. Circle K has worked with Friday’s Kids Respite, Bowls for Humanity and Best Buddies.
Humanitarian Aid Relief Team
BYU’s Humanitarian Aid Relief Team (HART) raises awareness of health and social challenges throughout the world and then provides opportunity for students to make a positive difference.
HART reemerged as a BYU club a little less than a year ago, explained club co-president Katherine Toronto. Through service projects and seminars, the club focuses on “bringing the service” to the students, according to Toronto. At their last project, the club had over 100 students come and serve, and the club is still growing, looking for more members and even offering leadership positions.
“It’s not a specific interest,” Toronto said. “It’s as many people as we can reach. Shy people, outgoing people, tall people, short people, it doesn’t matter. Anyone can serve, and anyone can make a difference.”
In the past, BYU’s HART has worked with the Days for Girls project to supply female hygiene products to developing nations.
This club provides a place for environmentally aware students to meet together and discuss issues that impact the environment locally and globally. Members serve with BYU Recycling, and this semester they will again help with the recycled cardboard castle on BYU’s campus.
They also serve alongside a number of local environmental protection groups. According to EcoResponse’s purpose statement, the club provides opportunities for students to “work together to improve our local and global environment.”
Club meetings include special guest speakers, documentaries and tours. This semester, the club plans to visit Arches National Park.
Anti-Human Trafficking Club
This club works to end modern slavery. Club members serve in three ways: education, fundraising and advocacy.
Human trafficking is a problem locally and globally, and awareness can make a difference, said club president Kate Zeller. A neighbor who notices a child working at unusual hours and then reports it saves the child and helps the fight against human trafficking, according to Zeller.
“It’s important to focus on things that are bigger than yourself, and right now we have the resources and the tools in modern society to really make a difference in human trafficking,” Zeller said.