UD Students Volunteer at Almost Home

Mar 10, 2016 | S.Ortman

JD Insulation Removal

UD students Sharon Boer, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and Logan Butson, of Platteville, Wisconsin, remove
insulation from Almost Home on Wednesday, March 9, in Dubuque.

Dubuque, Iowa - Dust clouded the room as Sharon Boer, University of Dubuque junior from Oskaloosa, Iowa, removed water-damaged ceiling tiles from a local homeless shelter on Wednesday.

A communications major, Boer said it was time for the ceiling tiles and insulation to be replaced.

“They needed to come down,” she said.

“It helped us immensely,” said Gwen Kirchhof, executive director of Almost Home.

As part of its leadership retreat on the UD campus, John Deere Financial wanted to incorporate a service component as well as student interaction. The University partnered with Resources Unite, a Dubuque-based nonprofit, to provide the volunteer opportunity at Almost Home. Liza Johnson, a business faculty adjunct and director of personal empowerment at UD, invited students known for their leadership skills from her personal empowerment and leadership and motivation courses to participate.

“It opens their eyes to a lot of opportunities,” Johnson said, adding the activity provided a chance for students to network with business professionals and make connections with a local organization.

Boer was honored to be selected as a student volunteer.

“I’m excited UD offers this kind of opportunity. They really care about students,” Boer said.

Cassandra Berger, UD senior from Waukon, Iowa, was also excited about the opportunity. She helped sort clothes at Open Closet, a program of Almost Home that provides clothes to those in need.

“It just makes me feel good that people look up to me and see me as a leader,” Berger said. She is an accounting, human resource management and business administration major.

Jim Galecki, with John Deere Financial, was impressed with the students’ commitment.

“It’s pretty cool to see their energy level and excitement about their futures,” Galecki said.


The following students participated in the John Deere Financial leadership retreat:

Cassandra Berger - Waukon, IA
Sharon Boer - Oskaloosa, IA
Paige Buresh – Cedar Rapids, IA
Logan Butson - Platteville, WI
Caleb Chincoya-Velasco - Denver, CO
Alyssa Cook – Dubuque, IA
Steven Cortez - Highland, CA
Elizabeth Fleming – Dubuque, IA
Ashley Geraghty - Palatine, IL
Sydney Temperly – Clinton, IA
John Thill – Dubuque, IA
Ciarra Wagner – Bellevue, IA
Haley Williams – Dubuque, IA