When Anne Vande Berg received a call last month to get involved in the Winona County Warming Center, she thought it would be a great opportunity for WSU to give back to the Winona community.

Vande Berg reached out to students in the social work department to form a team that would help staff the warming center this winter season.

The Winona County Warming Center at Community Bible Church provides a sheltered and warm place for the homeless people of Winona County to stay overnight from Nov. 1 to the end of March.

“On our assigned nights, there are typically both students and faculty on each shift, and this has proven to be a great way for both constituencies to get to know one another in a setting outside of the classroom,” said Vande Berg, social work instructor and field coordinator.

The student and faculty team will continue volunteering nights in February and March.

“This experience truly contributes to the classroom learning in social work by interacting with certain populations by getting the hands on experience that can’t be taught,” said Danielle Boettcher, social work student from Mankato, Minn. “Volunteering my time so someone can have a safe and warm place to stay for the night, whatever the reason, is important to me as a future social worker.”

For more information, contact Anne Vande Berg at AVandeBerg@winona.edu.