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Service-learning success story: part 3

| Lucy Grogan-Ripp

Walking around the spring Community Action Fair, the Center for Service-Learning was able to connect with a few individuals who had especially unique service experiences that led them from volunteer to intern or full time employee. In this series, they share their remarkable stories with us.

Manning the Community Table booth at this semester’s Community Action Fair was senior, human resources major, Max Soderberg.

The Community Table is a locally based non-profit organization that works to feed hungry members of our community. Although similar to a food pantry, the Community Table is unique in that they serve hot, home cooked meals for anyone in need. Their official mission statement reads, “Since 1993, the Community Table has been nourishing hungry bodies and spirits in the Eau Claire community by serving one meal each day, 365 days a year on a no questions asked basis. Anyone can join our table during meal time.” In 2016 alone, they served more than 49,000 meals to those in need.

Max fulfilled all 30 hours of his service-learning with the Community Table, where he served as their volunteer coordinator. Max’s hours spent at the Community Table included anything from general office duties to crafting a Community Table history project. Max stated, “[the history project] involved scrapbooking and designing a history display of old news articles, photographs, and awards.”

When asked about what he learned from his service-learning project, Max talked about the opportunity it provided to, “develop significant human resource skills while serving nutritious meals to those who need them most.” Max also noted that his time spent at the Community Table helped him, “develop a lifestyle perspective of the less fortunate and those with mental illness.”

Max’s presence at the Community Table was valued to the point that, upon completion of his 30 service-learning hours, they invited him to stay on as a part-time employee. Moving forward, Max hopes to turn his previous role as as volunteer coordinator into an internship that other students can apply for in hopes that they will carry on his tradition of gaining career experience [AND] performing community service.