Nearly 200 volunteers have registered for the annual spring Day of Service on Saturday, April 6, when students, faculty, staff and Geneva-area community members will serve at sites across the Finger Lakes region.
“Our students work throughout the year with local partner organizations, and HWS Days of Service is an important tradition that helps inspire and sustain those vital partnerships,” says Katie Flowers, director of the HWS Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. “Days of Service amplifies the impact that dedicated volunteers can have on our community, which is why we’re so excited to welcome spring with our friends and neighbors and give back.”
This spring’s Day of Service will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers will meet on the Hobart Quad at noon for a welcome from Interim President Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D. ’12. After they receive a free lunch and T-shirt, volunteers will visit service sites to garden, clean, paint and help area schools, churches and nonprofits plan for the coming months.
“Having fellow students serve and see the reward they get out of working in the community is what makes me smile,” says tri-chair of the Day of Service Committee Molly Gorelick ’19. “Community service is so important to me and encouraging others to serve has been something I’ve loved about being a member of the HWS Days of Service Club.”
In anticipation of the event, Gorelick and tri-chairs Janeya Blackwell-Orr ’19 and Carmen Emmi ’20 contacted community partners, recruited volunteers and advertised the event.
This year’s sites include Geneva Neighborhood Associations, St. Peter’s Church, Seneca Lake Terrace, Rose Hill Mansion, the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, as well as locations outside of Geneva, like Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua. Throughout the day, members of the HWS community will connect with youth from Geneva City School District, mend and repair civic amenities throughout city, clear debris from the winter months and garden.
“It’s wonderful to see a strong representation among groups like William Smith soccer, Geneva Heroes and America Reads tutors,” says Flowers, noting that America Reads volunteers will help administer the annual Geneva Reads Book Fest at the Geneva Community Center. HWS faculty will also join HWS and Geneva High School students at various locations.
A Geneva tradition for over 25 years, Day of Service became Days of Service in 2008, when students and the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning added additional Days of Service throughout the year so more HWS and Geneva community members could get involved and to create sustained relationships between community members.
In 2018, for the second year in a row, Hobart and William Smith Colleges were named the top liberal arts institution for service in Washington Monthly’s College Guide and Rankings. Since 2005, the policy magazine has rated U.S. colleges and universities based on their contributions to society, taking into consideration social mobility, research and service.