For The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Students, faculty and staff at St. Ambrose University worked collectively and individually to contribute 2,400 hours of service to the community for 30 days to demonstrate the many ways Ambrosians make a difference in the community. Then they celebrated their service with a soup and bread bar on the Feast of St. Ambrose (Dec. 7), the university’s namesake.
Bee the Difference Month at St. Ambrose began Nov. 7 with the annual Bee the Difference Day that the Student Government Association has organized since 2006. The month-long initiative concluded with the bread and soup bar meal that included honey because St. Ambrose is the patron saint of bees!
During the initiative, Ambrosians served Davenport and the greater Quad Cities in various ways. Among the service projects: Lego robotics coaching, serving meals at Café on Vine, packing welcome bags for Afghan refugees, cooking for elderly neighbors, Cub Scout mentoring and teaching, elementary school mentoring and volunteering for Vera French Mental Health Center, Impact Life and the Festival of Trees. St. Ambrose students contributed 1,900 hours of the documented volunteer service, while faculty and staff submitted 400 hours of service efforts.
“The hours of community service we counted over this past month do not represent the countless contributions and selfless acts of kindness St. Ambrose students, faculty and staff members perform every day, every month, every year,” said St. Ambrose University President Amy Novak. “We created Bee the Difference Month as a means of intentionally amplifying and celebrating the ways our campus community so effectively honors Ambrose of Milan.”
“As an early leader of the Catholic Church, Saint Ambrose carried his ministry beyond the walls of his church and lived his faith among the people in ways that reflected God’s love and compassion. He made a difference. As the only university in the United States named in honor of the Patron Saint of Bees, the St. Ambrose University community is committed to making that same kind of difference.”
The Feast of St. Ambrose Day bread and soup bar served up dozens of loaves of homemade bread baked and contributed by more than 20 bakers across campus, including Novak and her husband, Ken. More than 350 members of the campus community attended the event.