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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: Midnight Run engages Marquette students with community service

Photo by Katie Craig

While visiting food pantries, homeless shelters and other service sites across Milwaukee, one might run into groups of young adults dressed in Marquette University apparel. Although the name of their group is “Midnight Run,” this organization actually has nothing to do with running. 

Founded in 1988, Midnight Run is an organization that provides Marquette students the opportunity to get involved with the Milwaukee community, by offering them the option to volunteer at various sites around the city. 

Midnight Run is supervised by Marquette’s Campus Ministry and is operated by a team of student coordinators. 

At the start of this spring semester, Midnight Run offers all interested students the opportunity to select which service site they would prefer to assist at on a weekly basis during the semester. 

For Lily Eggerding, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and co-coordinator of Midnight Run, she says the organization is a valuable way for students to experience life outside of the university’s campus. 

“I don’t have a car and Marquette is kind of in its own bubble, as in students don’t always get to see what’s outside of campus,” Eggerding says. “I joined Midnight Run because I wanted to be able to learn more about the Milwaukee area and get the chance to actually go out and meet people from the community.” 

This spring, Eggerding says she is looking forward to spending time at a local church with her team and packaging meals for those in need.

Wanting to engage with Milwaukee’s younger population, Mary Prystalski, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and co-coordinator of Midnight Run, says that she is enjoying the opportunity to volunteer at the Cathedral Center each week. 

“This semester, I’ve been working at the Cathedral Center, which is an emergency center for families,” Prystalski says. “Once a week, we open a playroom for all the kids to come in, and it’s just a really positive experience both for the kids and for all of us Marquette students to watch them play together.” 

For Prystalski, she says participating in community service means challenging oneself to think deeper about how to make a real difference. 

“Volunteering at these sites will really get you thinking about complex issues within your community, like where problems such as food insecurity and homelessness come from,” Prystalski says. “Once you understand where the problem comes from, then you start thinking about how it can be solved long-term and what you personally can do to help.” 

For those worried about stepping out of their comfort zone and entering service sites, Prystalski says that they count on Midnight Run to ensure that all participants feel supported while they are volunteering. 

“You’ll always be with a group full of other people when you’re at the site, so it really feels like a safe environment,” Prystalski says. “There’s always leaders there to rely on and ask questions to, if you’re nervous.”

Colleen McCabe, a senior in the College of Education and a co-coordinator of Midnight Run, says that Midnight Run encourages students to consider some of the university’s core Jesuit values, such as “cura personalis” when interacting with people during their service experience.

“Service teaches people to see the good in others, kind of like how Marquette teaches the idea of cura personalis, service teaches us to accept the whole person,” McCabe says. “Not everyone is going to be like you, but it’s important to accept people as they are and make them feel welcome and included as a whole human being.”

Grateful for the opportunity to return to more in-person service activities since the COVID-19 pandemic, Eggerding says that there is no experience quite like putting one’s words into action and helping out the dear neighbor.

“I honestly think Midnight Run is the most meaningful thing I’ve done in college,” Eggerding said. “You learn so much in your classes at Marquette about why you should serve other people, and Midnight Run gives you the chance to step outside and finally use that knowledge and energy.”

This story was written by Erin Howard. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Erin Howard
Erin Howard, Copy Editor
Erin Howard is a sophomore from Clarendon Hills, Illinois and is studying journalism. This year, Erin will serve on the Marquette Wire as a Copy Editor. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys running and listening to music. Erin is very excited to get to know more people on each branch of the Wire and share the important stories happening around campus.
Katie Craig
Katie Craig, Staff Photographer
Katie is a Staff Photographer at the Wire. She is a first-year from Lakeville, MN studying digital media and minoring in advertising. In her free time, Katie enjoys photography and hanging out with her friends. This year Katie is looking forward to getting to know more people and improving her photography skills.

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