University of Southern California

Marshall Community Service Day 2011
Marshall Volunteers Work with an Array of Community Organizations to Make an Impact and Learn from their Experiences
April 9, 2011 • by News at Marshall

The day started out overcast, but the chilly weather could not dampen the spirits of the nearly 300 volunteers who came together for the fourth annual Marshall Community Service Day (MCSD) on Saturday, April 2. MCSD is the signature event of Marshall Outreach and Volunteer Entrepreneurs (MOVE), a student-run organization, which, in conjunction with the Marshall School of Business, is dedicated to developing future business leaders who are also socially conscious and share a desire to make a difference.

The event began with a speech by James Pearson, founder of Ember Arts, a San Diego-based company that partners with Ugandan women to create and sell their jewelry in the American market.

"If business is the most powerful force that shapes our world and that is the one area where we've taken our values out of, then we have this huge opportunity, this massive opportunity to bring our values back into the marketplace, to bring values back into the business world. In doing so, it is the most powerful force in the world to do good, to mirror our values as human beings, to share fairness and compassion and respect for the earth that I think is at the core of all of us," said Pearson, echoing the mission of both MCSD and MOVE.

Open to the entire USC community, MCSD benefits a range of local organizations. This year's recipients' were the Los Angeles Food Bank, Community Services Unlimited, Inc., the Blazer Youth Services Community Club, Alexandria Care Center and, for the second year in a row, TreePeople. After being bused to local sites, volunteers engaged in range of activities including gardening, assembling food packages for needy children or interacting with seniors in a nursing home.

For Blazer, which offers after-school learning and self-empowerment programming for local junior-high and high-school aged students, 20 volunteers helped clear out old furniture and material from the club's community center.

Benita Yu, director of professional events for MOVE and a team leader at the Blazer site, marveled at the progress they were making as the sun came out. "Everyone's working really well together. It's great. The team effort is pretty amazing," she said.

Alberto Ceja, fund developer for Blazer, was especially appreciative. "They're helping us move everything out. It could have taken us days or weeks to do. But it's more than that. It's making the place look more presentable and making it a better environment for our kids," he said.

But recipient organizations weren't the only ones benefiting from the service day. Student volunteers enjoyed the boost that comes with doing good, and also connecting with peers.

Andrew Park, a Marshall junior, said the organization made it easy for him to take part by selecting beneficiaries and handling the logistics. "It's something I've always wanted to do, but I've been so busy the last couple of years. One great thing about USC is that we get involved in the community around us," said Park, as he hauled garbage to the curb outside the club's center. "We don't just live in our shell. We go out. We get involved. We help. So people know [we] care about the community and it makes USC's name shine forward, which is a good thing. I'm happy to be a part of that."

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.