Days of Service in News – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Days of Service in News

The efforts of the HWS students who helped local organizations as part of Orientation weekend didn’t go unnoticed by the many community agencies they helped. They also garnered the attention of the Finger Lakes Times. In an article about the first-years’ work with Geneva residents working on neighborhood improvements, first-year Abby Evans’14 of Glen Arm, Md., was quoted, “I love it. This is a big reason why I chose this school.”

The full article follows.


Finger Lakes Times
Neighbors join forces to spiff up William St.

David L. Shaw • August 29, 2010

GENEVA — Mr. Rogers would be proud.
It was a beautiful day in the William Street neighborhood between Hoffman and West streets.

Residents, joined by newly arrived Hobart and William Smith Colleges freshmen, spent Saturday morning making “curb appeal” improvements to their neighborhood.

The neighbors banded together and submitted an application to the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center’s Great Geneva Neighborhood Challenge program.
They ended up being one of three winners of $10,000 to upgrade their neighborhoods.

They used it to plant trees, flowers and shrubs and work on landscaping.
William Street homeowners Todd Taylor and Robert Stewart coordinated the activities. A load of topsoil was placed in Taylor’s driveway for use by others.

Activities for another day are porch, step and handrail repairs, roof repairs and painting.

“This neighborhood is a mix of families, single mothers, renters, disabled and elderly. This program has helped bring people together and get things done,” Taylor said. “Some people who were reluctant at first have gotten on board after seeing the improvements.”

Taylor and his wife, Sue, have lived on William Street for about 20 years. He’s been active with the neighborhood effort sponsored by the city.

He called it a “good program that has helped the neighborhood improve.”

“Seeing the improvement has inspired homeowners to do some work on their own,” Taylor said.

An added benefit of the program has been more personal than physical. Taylor said he didn’t know about two-thirds of the people on his block before the program.

Now, through the program, he’s gotten to know most of them and a sense of “looking out for each other” has developed.

Colette Barnard from the GNRC was there to observe and take photographs. She said flower boxes were designed and built over the summer by architecture interns and installed on porches Thursday.

They were filled with soil and flowers Saturday. Homeowners painted them to match their homes.

William Smith sophomore Melika Givili of Buffalo helps with freshman orientation. She was there to work with a group of first-year students.

“Community service is a big part of orientation for first-year students.
The goal is for students to become part of the community, not just students at the college,” Givili said.

Abby Evans, a first-year student from Glen Arms, Md., was digging up a flower bed.

“I love it. This is a big reason why I chose this school,” Evans said.

Other neighborhoods winning challenge grants were Argyle Street and Humbert Street.