Day of giving, community service at SJR State

Vikings Day of Service logo

Vikings Day of Service scholarship award
Viking Exchange pantry
local highway cleanup volunteers

St. Johns River State College employees and students gathered Friday in support of the College’s semiannual community service day – Vikings Day of Service. Volunteers from across the Orange Park, Palatka and St. Augustine campuses gathered for a highway clean up and to support the College’s food pantries. The day also included a special visit from Kathy Hebda, Chancellor for the Division of Florida Colleges, who delivered more than 200 food items and $30K toward scholarships.

The campus food drive resulted in more than 4,305 items of canned goods, instant meals, hygiene items and school supplies to restock the Viking Exchange - three on-campus food pantries created by employees to assist students with food insecurities.

Ann Spinler, SJR State’s library technical assistant, who helped lead the food drive on the Palatka campus, said that by focusing on the College community, employees can be the light and encouragement that others may need. “This service can make a tremendous difference to the person who is in need,” Spinler said.

The day also included a visit from Chancellor Hebda and Judy Green, Florida College System Foundation President, who awarded the SJR State Foundation $30,352 for scholarships.

The Florida Blue Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship is supported by an endowment created by Helios Education Foundation, Florida Blue and Bank of America to provide a sustained source of funding for student scholarships in nursing and allied health programs at Florida’s Colleges in order to meet the growing need for skilled nurses and allied health professionals who serve the diverse population of Florida. The amount of funds awarded to the college will be based on an equal minimum award, performance index and enrollments in the nursing program. Funds must be matched dollar for dollar by private donors at the local level.

The Florida College System Foundation will award $1,347,221 in scholarship funds to Florida’s 28 colleges throughout the state.

In addition to the check presentation, Hebda met with students, faculty and staff participating in the Vikings Day of Service.

SJR State Chief Academic Officer Melanie Brown spearheaded Vikings Days of Service in 2019 to engage employees and students as volunteers in meaningful service opportunities that address the community’s and College’s needs. “This is our fourth year of sustaining service events and growing SJR State’s community involvement,” Brown said. “The reason St. Johns River State College is so special is because of the dedication of our faculty and staff to our students and our communities,” Brown said.

See more photos from Viking Day of Service and Chancellor Hebda’s visit on the SJR State flickr page.

Florida College System Chancellor Kathy Hebda and Judy Green, Florida College System Foundation President, award the SJR State Foundation $30,352 for scholarships. From left: Peggy Blair-Hall, SJR State foundation financial coordinator; Judy Green; SJR State President Joe Pickens; Kathy Hebda; and Brian Bergen, SJR State foundation executive director.

Employees from St. Johns River State College restock the Viking Exchange (on-campus food pantries for students) for their Vikings Days of Service project.

Employees and students from SJR State volunteer to clean up the local highways as part of the semiannual Vikings Day of Service.



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020