More than 300 volunteers from the HWS community fanned out to contribute their time, effort and sweat equity at 23 sites throughout Geneva as part of Day of Service on Saturday, Oct. 29. The campus-wide community service project is in its 19th year and has the greatest participation of any HWS service activity.
As the students assembled on the Quad at the start of the day, President Mark D. Gearan thanked the volunteers, as well as the Day of Service Committee and its leaders, Caitlin Hughes ’12 and Celeste Smith ’12, for their efforts.
“You will make a difference,” said Gearan, standing on the steps overlooking the Quad. “This is just one of many ways to give back to Geneva for their gracious hosting of the Colleges for the past 200 years.”
Sophomores Andrew Frolich and Gregory Shelkey worked at the Boys and Girls Club and echoed that sentiment. “I really liked the idea of getting more involved in the community,” said Frolich.
“Day of Service is a really great way for the entire HWS community to give back to the broader community of Geneva and help them out,” Shelkey agreed.
Assistant Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Jeremy Wattles commended the high number of volunteers who turned out and said he was especially pleased that several alums participated. “I think these sort of shared experiences are an opportunity for more connections between different groups in the larger HWS community, past and present,” he said.
Members of the HWS Arts Collective traveled to Phelps Art Center where they helped rake leaves, trim bushes and remove trees in preparation for winter.
“We love having students here to help,” said Art Center Director Marion Donnelly. “It’s also so great having Hobart and William Smith students here to share the history of this building with.”
Anna Dorman ’14 was with the group who worked at the Agri-Business Child Development Center, which is attached to the Geneva Boys and Girls Club. “We helped rake and prepare for the winter and learned a lot about the preschool itself. It was a really great opportunity to learn about a program that is important to a lot of people in the community,” she said.
Students also worked at American Legion Winnek Post 396, Happiness House, Geneva Business Improvement District, Geneva Community Center, Granger Homestead, Phelps Art Center and Sonnenberg Gardens, among other sites.
Two more days of service are scheduled for Jan. 21, 2012, in conjunction with the national observance of Martin Luther King Day, and wrapping up the academic year on April 14, 2012.