Bee the Difference Month

30 Days of Prayer and Service

President Amy Novak calls all Ambrosians to participate in Bee the Difference Month: 30 Days of Prayer and Service. The initiative starts with Bee the Difference Day on Nov. 6, and continues through our annual Feast of Saint Ambrose Day on Dec. 7. We are challenged to more intentionally live out our institutional calling to prayer and service. Take a look at the 2022 Bee the Difference Month activities! 

We can't wait to serve our community with you in 2023!


group of SAU alumni

Follow the Alumni Board's lead!

Get involved!

Keep reading to see how!  To see how students, faculty and staff are getting involved, check out the campus Bee the Difference landing page.


Ways to Be Involved

Join Together in Prayer

Download the prayer card
Click here to download
The St. Ambrose community is called to join together in a daily prayer written by Rev. Robert "Bud" Grant, Professor of Theology and Co-Director of the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan. The prayer is inspired by the writings of Saint Ambrose.

View the daily prayer reflections
Click here and scroll to Daily Prayer Reflections
The St. Ambrose community is called to join together in daily prayer throughout Bee the Difference Month. Reflections will be written by President Amy Novak, students, faculty and staff throughout the month to keep our focus and faith front of mind.

Submit the names of those you've lost
Submit your intentions here
Beginning with All Souls Day (Wenesday, Nov. 2), the month of November is a special time in the Catholic Church to remember and pray for those we have loved and lost. Please complete the form to include the names of anyone you'd like us to remember in our November prayers and Masses. In addition, alumni who've passed away in the last year are recognized with a special display in Christ the King Chapel. May we join together as a St. Ambrose family to support those who are grieving.

Serve Your Community

Serve Your Community
SAU Alumni Board members
make it easy for alumni to serve their communities.  Members researched service opportunities in some of the top areas where our alumni reside.  Details on regional service opportunities are posted below.

Join a Service Swarm
Four Alumni Board members organized specific SAU alumni service opportunities.  These opportunities are listed under their specific geographic area lists, as well as under the Ambrosian Day of Service heading below.

Bee Counted
Don't forget to track your hours, which helps us promote the immense impact of our Ambrosian community.  Submit your time here.

Share the SAU Impact
And don't forget to share your experiences on social media, using #BeeTheDifferenceMonth!  Let's BEE Proud of what we accomplish as an Ambrosian community.

Quad Cities

Service Events arranged by Alumni for Alumni

November 12 @ 9am-12pm CST (raindate November 13 @12-3pm)
Vander Veer Botanical Park, 215 W. Central Park Ave. Davenport, IA 52803
Set up holiday lights which will open the weekend after Thanksgiving
Email Katie Schroeder mrjkatie@hotmail.com to get signed up. 20 people needed
More info on Vander Veer Park website.


November 19 @ 12 - 3pm
Down By The Creek Companion Animal Sanctuary, Long Grove (RSVP for address)
Fall cleanup at an animal rescue/sanctuary. Indoor & outdoor habitats need cleaning and sprucing-up. Time to cuddle or play with the rescued dogs, too! :-)
Email Jen Walker jenboyle1818@gmail.com. 11 people needed; 1-time event. Kids 9 & up welcome!
More info at www.downbythecreek.net

 

Service opportunities available in your area


Salvation Army

2200 5th Avenue Moline, IL 61265
Flexible - open Nov. 4 to Dec. 24, Time commitment 2+ hours; 10am-7pm
Red Kettle Bellringer. Standing at a red kettle, ringing a bell and greeting/thanking customers as they walk in and out of the store
Learn more and sign up

Fresh Start Center Resale Shop Sales with Humility Homes & Services
522 Fillmore Street Davenport, Iowa 52802
Flexible scheduling
Manage inventory and merchandising, helping customers and ringing up sales
Open 8am - 4pm
Learn more and sign up

Quad Cities Botanical Center
2525 4th Avenue Rock Island, IL 61201
Through Nov. 16, 3 hour shifts
Winter Nights Winter Lights - holiday light show that runs from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Individual shifts or a team up to 10 needed daily, weekends included
Learn more and sign up

Set up a donation drive wherever you please!
Flexible - whenever it works in your schedule
Volunteers needed to host donation drives - at your local business, gathering with your friends, hosting virtual, wherever! Toy and coat drives are needed seasonally.
Learn more and sign up

Christian Care
2209 3rd Avenue Rock Island, IL 61201, Lunch 12-12:30pm and dinner 6:30-7pm
Ongoing, flexible during Bee the Difference Month
Bring and Serve Meals. Hot prepared meals that can be served at their facility
Learn more and sign up

Family Resources
2800 Eastern Avenue Davenport, IA 52803
Flexible - whenever it works in your schedule
Make baked goods to donate! Baked goods (brownies, cookies, breads, muffins, etc.) are used throughout the shelters and accepted at anytime. Get a group together or complete individually on your own time
Contact Jennifer Lohse to schedule a drop off JenniferL@famres.org or learn more at: https://www.famres.org/contact

River Bend Food Bank
4010 Kimmel Dr. Davenport, IA 52802, Group or individual sign ups available
Flexible - lots of opportunities available
Various jobs - restocking shelves, check-in, packing backpacks amongst a few
Learn more and sign up

Quad City Animal Welfare Center
Milan, IL 61264
Flexible
Volunteer opportunities vary from walking dogs, reading to animals, foster care, administrative, special events, and more
Learn more and sign up
Must be COVID-19 vaccinated and receive a short training

Junior Achievement - You Select the School
Flexible - you determine schedule
Teach children about various topics in a series of classroom visits (less than 45 minutes each). Can be completed within month of November.  Openings all around the Quad Cities, various classroom levels from K-8.
Learn more

Cafe on Vine
Flexible based on need
Prep/serve Meal, clean up
Contact cafeonvine2@aol.com, 563-324-4472 or see the website to learn more

Xstream Cleanup
Flexible Dates upcoming
Waste pickup/cleanup/outdoor yardwork
Learn more and sign up

Gigi's Playhouse QC
Flexible
Volunteer with youth with special or different support needs
Learn more and sign up
Recieve volunteer orientation happens 1x per month before beginning, many opportunities

Geneseo/Sterling

Hospice of the Rock River Valley
flexible scheduling
Multiple opportunities including special project volunteers, assist with Festival of Trees (Nov. 13-20), direct care volunteers and Friends of Hospice.
Learn more by contacting 815-625-3858 or https://hospicerockriver.org/volunteer/

Seasonal Sights and Sounds - Sterling Main Street
Dec 2, flexible times
Learn more by contacting 815.626.8610, https://www.sterlingmainstreet.org/events/seasonal-sights-sounds/ or info@sterlingmainstreet.org

Hope Life Center
flexible scheduling
Volunteer patient receptionist
Contact 815.625.5376 or info@hlcil.org

American Red Cross
flexible scheduling
Donate blood at your convenience, find location and date that works best for you
www.redcrossblood.org

Geneseo Park District
Nov. 13 from 1-4 p.m. for Turkey Trot11/13/22
Need Turkey trot-timers
Contact 309-944-5695 or info@geneseoparkdistrict.org

Henry County Humane Society
4-6pm
Volunteer to help walk pets, feed and water pets, and spend time with animals
Contact (309) 944-4868 or info@henrycountyhumanesociety.org

City Park in Geneseo
Nov 6 from 1-3 p.m.
Assist the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce and VFW by donating yellow ribbons and helping to tie the ribbon around trees.
Contact 309-944-2686 or https://www.geneseo.org/calendar?month=11&year=2022

Whiteside County Senior Center
flexible, open 8am - 4pm
Help serve meals, or organize games/crafts
Contact (815) 622-9230

Des Moines

Book Buddy
Flexible scheduling
Read to kids 1:1. Book Buddy is a 1:1 reading program that pairs caring adult volunteers with preschoolers for regular reading. The volunteer reads aloud to the same student once or twice a week for 40 minutes.
Learn more and sign up

Hawthorn Hill Center
Flexible scheduling
Multiple opportunities food pantry, childrens activities, serving dinner
Learn more and sign up

HopeMinistries Free Thanksgiving Meals
Oct. 3 through Nov. 24
Prep and deliver meals for Thanksgiving
Learn more and sign up

Holiday Helping Hands
November opportunities
Meal prep, donation drives etc through United Way
Learn more and sign up

Iowa City

Iowa City Free Lunch Program
Flexible scheduling
Serve and prep lunches
Learn more and sign up

Field to Family
Flexible scheduling
Learn more and sign up

Food Pantry
Flexible scheduling
Stocking volunteers work during times outside of our distribution hours. This position helps restock our shelves so that they are ready for when we are open. Duties include straightening/organizing shelves, going through produce and restocking with fresh produce, stocking shelf-stable shelves, and processing donations.Volunteer times are flexible in that it can be anytime that we are not open.
If you are interested in being a volunteer you can reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Sloane Terrill by emailing volunteer@northlibertycommunitypantry.org

Oak Knoll Retirement
Multiple opportunities available. 
Each Friday in Assisted Living, we host a happy hour as a way for the residents to get together and socialize and enjoy each others company. As a happy hour helper, you can help invite residents to the activity, walk down with them, and help serve refreshments, while engaging in one on one and group interactions.
Contact katwater@oaknoll.com for more information.

Ronald McDonald House
Multiple opportunities
Email volunteercoordinator@rmhc-eiwi.org for more info.

Muscatine

Muscatine YMCA
Multiple dates avaialble
Opportunities include helping at Breakfast with Santa event and middle school dances
Learn more and sign up

Chicago

Service Events arranged by Alumni for Alumni

November 18 @ 7pm-8:45pm
Feed My Starving Children, 740 Wiley Farm Court, Schaumburg, IL 60173
Pack nutritious meals that are sent to starving kids worldwide.
Sign up using this online form, this opportunity is set for 15 people
Kemper Rusteberg is organizing this event.  View this video to see the impact you can make in less than 2 hours.

Milwaukee

Service Events arranged by Alumni for Alumni

Saturday, Nov. 19 - anytime
Donate Christmas gifts for teenagers in the social services division of La Causa, Inc. (a powerful resource to so many in need throughout the Milwaukee area)
Donation drop at Ann Baker's home: 9404 Beverly Pl, Wauwatosa, WI
If your schedule allows, plan to spend a few moments with Ann.  She's invited alumni to enjoy coffee and donuts or a beer later in the day!


About this project: Christmas gifts for little ones are abundant, but teenagers often get forgotten because they're not as easy to buy for. They'd be happy to get ear buds/electronic accessories, sports apparel, make up, jewelry accessories... ask the teenagers you know for additional ideas!  If you prefer, you can drop off a monetary donation.  Organizer Ann Baker (alumni board member) will work with the La Causa care coordinator to purchase a gift for a teenager your behalf.  The organization kindly requests no gift cards.

From Anywhere!

No matter where you live, it's likely that you can make a difference in the following ways!

Volunteer at a local animal shelter
Help out at a local food pantry
Spend part of Thanksgiving Day serving those less fortunate
Be a volunteer at an upcoming road race, 5K, etc.

Make an Impact on Campus

Donate to the Career Closet - Help students make a great first impression! This spring, the Academic and Career Planning Office (ACP) realunched its Career Closet. By donating gently-used business casual and professional clothing, shoes, accessories, and hangers, you'll be helping students build their professional wardrobes at no cost. If you're interested in donating items, please drop them off at ACP (Rogalski Center) or mail them to: St. Ambrose University, Academic and Career Planning, 518 W. Locust St., Davenport, IA 52803. Please include your contact information so we can let you know when your items arrive.

About Hosting an Ambrosian Day of Service

Hosting an Ambrosian Day of Service

Did you know Ambrosians around the nation celebrate our collective tradition through teaching, learning, scholarship, service, and the pursuit of justice and peace with their own annual day of service? It's true!  These days are organized by dedicated alumni volunteers in various local communities.

St. Ambrose alumni who live in cities across the nation can volunteer to host a local event for other Ambrosians in their area. Below is a summary of what's involved if you'd like to host a local service event in 2023. Detailed online forms will guide you through the steps, and the Office of Alumni Engagement can work with you to help make your event a success.  The Office of Alumni Engagement suggests that you start planning about 8-10 weeks in advance and confirm details 6 weeks prior to the event.

2022 Opportunities - QCA, Chicago, Milwaukee

(listed in chronological order)

November 12 @ 9am-12pm CST (raindate November 13 @12-3pm)
Vander Veer Botanical Park, 215 W. Central Park Ave. Davenport, IA 52803
Set up holiday lights which will open the weekend after Thanksgiving
Email Katie Schroeder mrjkatie@hotmail.com to get signed up. 20 people needed
More info on Vander Veer Park website.

November 18 @ 7pm-8:45pm
Feed My Starving Children, 740 Wiley Farm Court, Schaumburg, IL 60173
Pack nutritious meals that are sent to starving kids worldwide.
Sign up using this online form, this opportunity is set for 15 people
Kemper Rusteberg is organizing this event. View this video to see the impact you can make in less than 2 hours.


November 19 @ 12 - 3pm
Down By The Creek Companion Animal Sanctuary, Long Grove (RSVP for address)
Fall cleanup at an animal rescue/sanctuary. Indoor & outdoor habitats need cleaning and sprucing-up. Time to cuddle or play with the rescued dogs, too! :-)
Email Jen Walker jenboyle1818@gmail.com.  11 people needed; 1-time event. Kids 9 & up welcome!
More info at www.downbythecreek.net

Saturday, Nov. 19 - anytime
Donate Christmas gifts for teenagers in the social services division of La Causa, Inc. (a powerful resource to so many in need throughout the Milwaukee area)
Donation drop at Ann Baker's home: 9404 Beverly Pl, Wauwatosa, WI
If your schedule allows, plan to spend a few moments with Ann. She's invited alumni to enjoy coffee and donuts or a beer later in the day!


About this project: Christmas gifts for little ones are abundant, but teenagers often get forgotten because they're not as easy to buy for. They'd be happy to get earbuds/electronic accessories, sports apparel, make up, jewelry accessories... ask the teenagers you know for additional ideas! If you prefer, you can drop off a monetary donation. Organizer Ann Baker (alumni board member) will work with the La Causa care coordinator to purchase a gift for a teenager on your behalf. The organization kindly requests no gift cards.

Responsibilities of the Local Planner/Host

• Decide what organization you wish to work with; consider the number of alumni in your geographic area
• Select the appropriate venue and timeframe
• Reserve a spot at a local restaurant for lunch or drinks after the project
• Provide details to the Office of Alumni Engagement
• Collect RSVP's as they come in
• Coordinate logistics locally (reserve the venue, enlist other volunteers)
• Manage the event onsite (check the setup, greet alumni, manage the flow of the service day, clean up at the end of event)
• Provide the Office of Alumni Engagement with a list of attendees after the event

How the Alumni Engagement Office can help

• Provide a list of area alumni (after volunteer has completed a confidentiality agreement)
• Provide advice based on event experience
• Send a formal email invitation (4-6 weeks before the event) and a follow-up reminder (1-2 weeks before the event) to area alumni
• Provide SAU supplies and giveaways (name tags, check-in sheet, etc.)

Next Steps

Communicate your interest in hosting a local Ambrosian Day of Service by emailing Alumni@sau.edu.  We'll note your interest in an event for next year.  Then, our staff will guide you through the planning and event management process as we get closer to the 2023 date. 

It's Time to Connect

Are you ready to reconnect with your alma mater? The St. Ambrose University Alumni Office has so many ways to stay involved, no matter where you are in life. Become an engaged alumnus today!