For the past 15 years, HWS community members have put all other obligations on hold to serve their community in the annual Day of Service. This year, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) has stepped up its efforts, inviting the campus to get involved in several Days of Service, each with its own focus.
“People have been frustrated that they couldn’t make it to that one day of service,” says CCESL Associate Director Katie Flowers. “So we’re trying something new.”
What Flowers and Day of Service Co-Chairs Jillian Petrella ’09 and Katie Taylor ’09 have conceptualized is a series of Days of Service centered around the environment, community well-being, and children. On Saturday Sept. 20, HWS students, faculty and staff can get their hands dirty in the environmentally focused Day of Service. For those interested in a focus on community well-being, the Oct. 18 Day of Service is the day for you. On Sunday, Nov. 2, volunteers can help area children.
“The objective of Days of Service is to get to know different community partners and have everyone recognize that we all are a part of a greater community,” says CCESL’s VISTA AmeriCorps Member Angelica Johnson.
Johnson also points out that, “Having more than one day of service helps to sustain the relationship between Geneva and HWS students.”
The three Days of Service program is also an important step to further connect people to community service opportunities, the main goal of CCESL’s “COMPASS” strategy. Three times the opportunity to serve, three times the aid to the area, volunteers will set out throughout the fall, helping local non-profit organizations to beautify and improve parks, schools, churches and many other sites throughout Geneva and the Finger Lakes region.
The first, Sept. 20 Day of Service will begin at 8 a.m. on the Quad and will service sites in the area until 4 p.m.
Flowers looks forward to Saturday’s “green” efforts such as a beach cleanup at Seneca Lake State Park. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity to collaborate with the Finger Lakes Institute for a day focused on the environment.”