BWR Students Spend Saturday Raking Leaves for Ames Residents

AMES, Iowa— On a cool Saturday morning in October, 12 men from Iowa State University’s Birch-Welch-Roberts (BWR) residence hall community pulled themselves out of bed to rake leaves for Ames citizens who no longer have the physical ability to do it themselves. Over the course of four hours, the men raked and bagged four leaf-covered Ames citizens’ yards as part of a service project termed Boys With Rakes.

“As a hall, we decided that we wanted the campus and community to view BWR as a responsible, caring, and hardworking residence hall,” said BWR resident Matthew Hastings. “We thought we could start by raking some lawns for people in need.”

The Boys With Rakes event is just one of a number of volunteer opportunities available for students living in residence halls on campus. Already this school year, residence halls have hosted penny wars to raise money for local nonprofit organizations, served as peer mentors on campus, volunteered at a local elementary school carnival, and took part in a residence hall service day.

The Department of Residence promotes civic and community responsibility as part of its Living, Learning, Leading (LLL) Model for residence life. The department identifies opportunities for students to grow as residential, local, and global leaders with the understanding that their residents are future leaders in the world.

As one of those future leaders, Hastings helped setup and organize the Boys With Rakes event. He believes the event was a win-win for both the students and the Ames residents whose yards they raked.

“It was nice to see how thankful people were of our efforts,” said Hastings. “That’s really what makes this event worthwhile, seeing people appreciate what we're doing for them. There's no better feeling than knowing you made someone else's life a little better or easier.”