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Blugolds find greater purpose

A study abroad experience at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire opened up a whole new world for Blugolds Tyler Loomis and Rachel Vick: a world of volunteer service.

Loomis, a senior marketing major from Kenosha, and Vick, a 2015 public relations graduate from Byron, Minnesota, created a blog to help link those wishing to give back with service and volunteer opportunities, as well as to other like-minded people. The blog, titled Novo, has a mission to "connect and inspire people to turn their ideas into actions and support those whose actions are changing the world."

Read the Q&A with Loomis and Vick to find out more about their project.  

Why did you start the Novo blog? 

Rachel VickRachel: We started the blog for a few different reasons: to enhance our writing skills, network and meet new people, but mostly to discover the hidden gems of Eau Claire for nonprofits, startup companies and individuals working to make a difference in the world. We hope if people can learn about these groups and learn easy ways to give back, we can help get volunteers and extra help to those who need it. 

Tyler: Rachel and I both enjoy helping other people, so what better idea than to help people help other people! This drive to help others and to push ourselves to try something challenging was the start to Novo. 

What does Novo mean? 

Rachel: It's Latin for renew, refresh or change.

What do you hope people take away from the blog?

Rachel: Our main goal is to inspire people, especially to turn their ideas of change into actions of change.

Tyler LoomisTyler: Our main hope is that our blog will help others see the many organizations and people who are doing great things, as well as give them the resources to help them turn their thoughts into actions and create their own impact on the world. 

How did you become so passionate about helping others? 

Rachel: It's rewarding. I guess I really became passionate about helping others when I studied abroad and realized how big the world actually was. I'm amazed by it, and I think we can work together to make it even better. 

Tyler: I don't know anything that makes me happier than knowing I helped someone in some way. Helping others reach their goals and be happy has always been a strong passion of mine that was amplified when I studied abroad in England for a semester. During this time, it made me realize how much you can learn from other people as well as how diverse humans are. This has led to my passion to want to get to know and help as many people as I can. 

What is your advice to people who want to get involved but don't know how? 

Tyler: Following our blog and Twitter is a great start. However, doing just a little bit of research can really help you learn what you need to get started. There are MANY organizations who need your help. Most college campuses will have an office where you can learn about how you can get involved in the community, such as UWEC's Center for Service-Learning! Also find a friend who wants to join you and do it together. It is much more fun to share the experience with a good friend. 

For more information about Novo or volunteer opportunities, email Rachel Vick or Tyler Loomis at thenovoblog@gmail.com.