Carloads of household supplies and other personal products delivered Wednesday to local CVIC, thanks to UND Staff Senate drive and generosity throughout campus
It’s important to give back to the Greater Grand Forks community, said Pam Henderson, Staff Senate president and assistant director of student life for the School of Law.
From the “Tubs of Love” campus-wide drive for people in need to collecting a thousand pounds of food, and from organizing Denim Day donations for charity to ensuring staff development, UND Staff Senate serves the University and Greater Grand Forks community in addition to representing staff members on campus.
On Wednesday (Dec. 14), the group delivered “Tubs of Love” — two large carloads of personal products and household supplies — to the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) and the Grand Forks Withdrawal Management/Social Detox Center.
With collection sites in buildings across campus, Staff Senate encouraged faculty and staff to donate supplies for people in need. Members of the group sorted the products and delivered them.
This is the seventh year for the Tubs of Love project.
“Last year we filled two SUVs with donations,” said Henderson. “It’s amazing how much people donate, and the recipients are so grateful.”
The donations from last year’s drive went to the Northland Rescue Mission and Circle of Friends Humane Society.
“The Mission residents helped unload the cars,” Henderson said. “They were profusely thankful.”
Staff Senate chooses recipients for donations by looking at the need in Grand Forks, and donates to different organizations each year. They’ve given to the Mission, Humane Society, Salvation Army, CVIC, The Grand Forks Herald’s Santa Claus Girls and other recipients.
“We look at where we’ve given in the past and where there is the most need,” Henderson said.
The organizations provide lists of items they need and members of the University community fill the tubs.
They’ve also done a spontaneous food drive, collecting a thousand pounds of items to split between the Salvation Army and St. Joseph’s Food Bank.
Voice for staff
The 50 members of Staff Senate work to provide a voice for staff, advise the President on matters pertaining to staff, and encourage involvement and staff development.
“There are three prongs: students, faculty and staff,” Henderson said. “Staff Senate is about the collaboration of all three. Each plays essential roles in helping the University succeed.”
“We’re not in the classroom teaching, but we’re keeping the buildings running, the websites up to date, and working behind the scenes,” Henderson said.
Staff Senate members come from all areas of campus, providing knowledge, viewpoints and perspectives.
One of Henderson’s favorite initiatives is the U-Shine Award, which is presented monthly to a staff member who helps make UND a better place by going above and beyond in their role. Recipients are generally surprised with the award during meetings and other events.
Staff Senate also sponsors the Spring Fling employee appreciation luncheon and events for State Employee Recognition Week. The Seeds for Staff Success program sponsors staff members to attend workshops, conferences and classes for professional development.
Ultimately, the members work to better UND for everyone. They are involved in campus initiatives, and Henderson sits on University Senate and its executive committee, as well as President’s Cabinet, offering a staff perspective.
This is Henderson’s fifth year with Staff Senate.
“I love being active at UND and meeting new people,” Henderson said. “I love getting to know other staff, making connections and learning more about the inner workings of the University. It makes UND feel more like a family.”