The annual Fall Day of Service will give students an opportunity to further ongoing community projects at nearly 20 sites in the region on Saturday, Oct. 24. In addition to working on continued projects such as the community playground, students will lend a hand at Geneva Middle and High schools for the Festival of Nations celebration as well as revamp several community garden sites throughout the city in concurrence with HWS Food Week 2015.
“We really value continuing projects because they allow us to work on building community capacity and resources in the long term,” says Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Associate Director Jeremy Wattles. “Things like community gardens and play areas can benefit Geneva for a generation or more if we do them the right way.”
At Geneva Garden Apartments, for example, students will finish clearing land in the complex in preparation for a play park and community garden – a project that began during the spring 2015 semester. Another group will return to Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church to add soil to raised garden beds built by first-year students during Orientation, while other volunteers will revisit residents at Seneca Lake Terrace Assisted Living or contribute to the construction of another Habitat for Humanity home.
Students also will work with St. Peter’s Church, Kashong Conservation Area, Phelps Community Center, Project Linus, Geneva Peeps, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, North Street School, Women’s Interfaith Institute, Geneva YMCA, Keuka Outlet, the Business Improvement District, the East Lakeview Neighborhood Association, and at the annual Hildreth Hill Pumpkin Roll.
“I hope that volunteers utilize this opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with the community organizers who have been actively providing for Geneva for years,” says Sophie Halter ’16, president of Days of Service. “I am looking forward to the volunteers creating strong relationships with community members and understanding the underlying social issues their community service addresses.”
Since 2008, Day of Service has expanded into four days of service throughout the academic year dedicated to expanding the Colleges’ relationship with the community while helping students build invaluable connections with local organizations and businesses.