September of Service (SOS)—CBU’s signature service program—provides CBU students, faculty, staff, brothers, alumni, and friends with both service and community-centered learning opportunities throughout the month of September. By putting CBU’s Lasallian values of faith, service, and community into action, CBU’s SOS contributes to the work of Memphis agencies to meet the common good and jumpstarts CBU’s community engagement activities each academic year.
A student-led service initiative started in 2012, SOS became nationally recognized for its dynamic service model: 30 different service projects, one for each day of September. The program’s director, Dr. Tracie Burke (Behavioral Sciences), realized that encouraging fun while serving the community would encourage greater participation, which in turn would also increase awareness of identified needs in Memphis.
In 2020, Dr. Burke entrusted the September of Service program to CBU’s AutoZone Center for Community Engagement (ACCE). Aiming to maintain SOS’s mission and goals of the previous 8 years, the ACCE modified the program model to create more opportunity to contribute to community projects and collaborate with community partners.
As September of Service evolves, the program seeks to enhance students’ community knowledge and experiences in two ways: 1) actively learning how to partner with local agencies and contribute to community objectives, while also 2) practicing listening and reflection to understand the systemic social challenges that make service to the community vital.
Each week, the CBU community is invited to participate in up to 3 service projects per week with community agencies. While some projects will be single events, others will be reoccurring, month-long service opportunities that support major projects on behalf of agencies. For all events, SOS student leaders will facilitate informal and formal reflection activities to promote greater understanding of self, the community, and the relationship between the two.
Further deepening collective learning, SOS’s new Digging Deeper series invites community partners and CBU organizations to collaborate with SOS student leaders to weekly educational events. These events bring our community together to learn about key community issues in Memphis and to guide us in digging for answers to that essential question, “Why do you serve?”
SOS is all about positive growth, for both our CBU family and Memphis neighbors. Let’s get growing!
By the Numbers
We serve because it’s the right thing to do, but we’re also pretty proud of the impact we’re making.
- Individual Agencies Served
- Value of Our Volunteer Work
- Hours Worked