Delegates learn importance of community engagement
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Delegates learn importance of community engagement

By Chrystina Anderson

Being engaged in communities might be one of the best things delegates can do for themself and others, according to Ed Gerrish.

On Friday, delegates attended an informational and interactive class about how to help engage in communities.

Gerrish, a professor at the University of South Dakota, spoke to delegates about why and how to engage in communities. They used the interactive classroom offered by USD to get a more one-on-one experience.

In the class, Gerrish focused on the many aspects of how to volunteer and where to volunteer in communities. Informing young adolescents and starting the habits at a young age is also important for communities, Gerrish said.

Gerrish sat down with the Sacajawea Scroll for a Q&A about the class. Here are his responses:

Chrsytina Anderson: Why should we involve ourselves in the community?

Ed Gerrish: “It’s important to improve your community. Also, it could increase property values. It also gives us some self-worth as well as giving us a healthier place to live. And it helps us understand the community.”

Q: How do you believe delegates benefit from your class?

A: “They can generate their own ideas on how to volunteer and get involved in their community. They could maybe realize that volunteering is fun.”

Q: Why do you think being educated in your community it important?

A: “It’s important because it’s where we live. It’s where our families live. Essentially, it’s taking care of the earth to our fullest ability and taking care of each other.”

Q: If there was one thing you could choose that each delegate walked away with, from your class, what would it be?

A: “Getting involved is easier than you think it is. And it should also be a lot of fun.”

Q: In what direction do you do see the future going regarding volunteering in communities?

A: “There is a lot of moving the organizations online. They fundraise and call attention all online, like Facebook and Twitter, but we also need to find a balance between promoting online and actually getting out in the real world.”

Q: What, in your opinion, is the most important thing in a community?

A: “There is not a single one, most important thing. But the people make up a big part of the community.”

Q: What holds a community together?

A: “The people and the active roles in the community. Involvement definitely goes a long way.”