“We believe we exist to help others.” These words, spoken by Jacksonville University President Tim Cost, are the heart, soul and purpose of the university’s Charter Day festivities. Charter Day, which commemorates the signing of the university’s charter on April 16, 1934, is a day of celebration and service at JU. Classes are canceled, and students, faculty and staff are given the opportunity to volunteer throughout the community.
In previous years, JU Dolphins have deployed throughout Jacksonville – walking dogs for the Humane Society, raking leaves for L’Arche Jacksonville, even grooming goats for the Tree Hill Nature Center. It’s all part of an annual tradition to drive positive change throughout northeast Florida, and this year is no exception.
While the pandemic has trimmed the scope of its volunteer efforts, Jacksonville University is forging ahead with a unique on-campus event benefitting Feeding Northeast Florida. In 2020 alone, as the pandemic deepened hunger issues on the First Coast, Feeding Northeast Florida distributed 30.8 million pounds of food – an 82 percent increase over 2019 – and served 2.8 million people – a 129 percent increase over 2019.
On Friday, April 16, 2021, Jacksonville University will lend a helping hand to this organization by hosting a socially distanced food packing event on its riverfront campus. Also pitching in, PepsiCo will provide t-shirts, drinks and snacks for all volunteers.
Dolphins who cannot attend in person are invited to volunteer in their own communities around the world, raise a glass to JU in a Global Toast and post photos of their efforts using #JUToast and #JUGives. By uniting in this way, Dolphins are doing what they do best – inspiring positive change, improving the planet and honoring a legacy of service that has grown – as the university itself has – since the day it was “born.”