WITH VIDEO: 'Be My Neighbor Day' caps off National Volunteer Week, 100 students participate

Cameron Hunt will never look at people the same way again after a rainy Saturday at the soup kitchen.

Last weekend the Fraser senior and his fraternity brothers from Sigma Alpha Epsilon helped clean up the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen, 621 S. Adams St., where Hunt met an older man and learned about the hard times he had been through.

"He gave us his story about (how) he was involved in divorce, losing a child, as well as moving from different regions in the United States," Hunt said.

Although the man did not give Hunt his name, the volunteers took away a lot more than they expected.

"I learned that everyone ends up at a certain point in their life that they may not expect," he added.

Saturday marked "Be My Neighbor Day" at Central Michigan University, where students clean up around CMU's campus and the Mount Pleasant community.

Noble Elway Pegg, a Dearborn graduate assistant at CMU's Volunteer Center, said Be My Neighbor Day is a capstone to National Volunteer Week.

"We send students all over Mount Pleasant so the students' presence can be felt all over the city," Pegg said.

Making a difference is an important way for students to meet other students, he said.

"It is a great way to help the Mount Pleasant community (and) it is more than just going to school here, it is about becoming an active citizen," Pegg said.

About 100 students volunteered at different sites on Saturday including Goodwill, 1313 S. Mission St., and Isabella County Parks and Recreation, 200 N. Main St.

Royal Oak graduate student Caitlin Cavanaugh was a site coordinator for volunteers who prepared fleece blankets for children in the foster care system.

"The (children) can take with them (the blankets) from home to home, so by giving them a fleece blanket with a CMU ribbon tied to it they get both a college positive message and something that they can take with them to their future homes and residences," she said.

Cavanaugh said the group has been working with the Children and Family Enrichment Council. It had made 80 blankets so far.

"It is a great thing to give them from CMU," she said. "They are two yards by two yards and really easy to make so they are a really fun, social activity."