Many students participate in community service throughout the year, but they only have one opportunity to serve the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas for 24 consecutive hours.

The University’s chapter of Circle K International held their annual 24-hour Service Day from 7 a.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. yesterday. Participating students from the University of Michigan and others from Purdue University, Wayne State University and Northwood University volunteered at homeless shelters, nonprofit organizations and community gardens in Detroit and Ann Arbor.

LSA senior and Circle K president Vivian Yu said she saw the event as a way to bring more service opportunities to campus and make it more available for students.

“For people who normally wouldn’t do service, this is one chance out of the entire year for them to get involved,” Yu said.

The annual event began in 2005 to encourage community service participation among students.

“(Circle K) saw a need on campus for service to be highlighted,” Yu said. “The 24-hour event is a good way to highlight it.”

On Saturday, participating students volunteered at the Kiwanis Thrift sale in downtown Ann Arbor. Students picked up donations, handed out flyers and worked as cashiers at the international service organization’s crowded thrift store. Kiwanis International is the parent organization of Circle K.

Ron Gardner, a former president of Kiwanis, said the event was valuable for everyone involved.

“I view it as a win-win situation,” Gardner said. “We benefit from their being here to help us. They benefit by having a chance to contribute back to the community through their service here.”

Later in the afternoon, students spent time cleaning and organizing the student-run apparel store, The Vintage Twin on South University Avenue. Business School senior Samantha Elias, owner of The Vintage Twin, said she was thankful for the extra help.

“I need them,” Elias said. “It’s such a blessing. The whole store is a collaborative effort, but we need the muscle.”

LSA junior Megan Brown, a member of Circle K, volunteered for all 24 hours. As the event entered the later hours, Brown said the volunteers’ collective energy increased.

“Everyone is really excited and tired and having a good time,” she said.

Correction appended: A previous photo caption for the above photograph misidentified Brad Bergeron.

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