Despite the rain, nearly 100 students participated in the third and final Day of Service of the academic year. HWS President Mark Gearan sent the volunteers on their way commending them for their willingness to contribute to the community.
“You make a real difference and that’s the point of today. This is evidence of our citizenship; it’s a step forward to be the community we aspire to be,” he said.
There were 10 sites available for this Day of Service including: Women’s Interfaith Institute, Rural Migrant Ministry, Seneca7, Geneva Theater Guild, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, Finger Lakes Youth Sports Challenger Division, Geneva Community Center, McDonough Park and the Hillside Children’s Center.
At the newest Day of Service site, Hillside Children’s Center, a group of about 15 students cleaned the center’s campus and also played ball with the center’s youth. Hillside provides care for youth with a range of emotional, behavioral or life-circumstance challenges, and their families. They offer recreational treatment for mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, special education, developmental disability services, psychiatric consultations and medical consultations.
“What these Hobart and William Smith students accomplished today saves us money which will be put back into the activities fund for the Hillside kids. It may only be a few hours of service, but it’s much more to these kids than that,” says John Altman, the recreational manager of the Hillside Children’s Center. “It’s amazing that the students at the Colleges value their community and care enough to come out here and help.”
The group of students spent the day working outside on the grounds moving tires, spreading mulch on the playground, cleaning storage sheds and picking up litter around the campus. After their hard work, they enjoyed a game of kickball with the Hillside kids.
“Today really shows the community that we’re involved and willing to help whenever we’re needed. We’re available as a resource, especially with these kids who need our help however we can provide it to them,” says Ellen Ellison ’11, who spent the day raking mulch for the Center’s playground.
Her friend and fellow classmate Liz Liebman ’11 shared her sentiment about their service, “It’s great to uphold the bond we share with the larger Geneva community and to be good examples of what HWS students represent. We’re members of this community too, and Day of Service is a nice reminder of that.”
In the photo above, students help ready McDonough Park for the season.