Day of Service 2021 will bring students and HWS community members together for a day of civic engagement and volunteerism.
For more than 25 years, Day of Service has brought students together to engage in service projects throughout the greater Geneva community. This semester’s Day of Service will be held on April 17 from 1-4 p.m.
Olivia Weiler ’21 and Brynn Bushey ’22, co-presidents of the Day of Service Club, have worked closely with Assistant Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Amy Jackson to plan the day of volunteerism, which will provide up to 260 students with the chance to participate.
“Day of Service is a great way to bridge the gap between HWS and the Geneva area – there are a lot of opportunities where individuals in the community need students or would like students to help out,” says Weiler, an economics major. Partner organizations include BluePrint Geneva, Habitat for Humanity, St. Peter’s Church, Smith Opera House, EPIC Zone, Geneva Business Improvement District, HWS Coopers’ Woods, East Lakeview Community and local nursing homes.
Throughout the planning process, Weiler and Bushey have found ways to serve the community while also following COVID-19 guidelines. While traveling to host sites was not feasible for every organization, Weiler and Bushey coordinated activities that could be completed on the HWS campus or outdoors.
Usually, students head to nursing homes to connect with local community members. This year they will remain on campus to make cards for residents. Another group of volunteers representing the Habitat for Humanity club will host an on-campus car wash and donate the proceeds to charity.
“It’s not our “plan A,” but Olivia and I have been happy with finding activities that still feel meaningful without having to travel to some of the places where we usually volunteer,” says Bushey, a biology major and Spanish minor.
Along with a Seneca Lake State Park cleanup effort and spring gardening preparation for State Street Public Gardens, Day of Service is excited to include two brand-new service activities. In partnership with HWS Votes, a campus nonpartisan voter registration and civic engagement initiative, volunteers will participate in door-to-door voting registration throughout under-registered areas within Geneva. Volunteers will also join forces with the Office of Sustainability to put on a clothing drive with support from Campus Eco Reps.
“We are really grateful that even though this year has been hard for students, there has never been a lack of interest in service. Given how COVID-19 has affected small communities like Geneva, it’s really nice to know that our students care and are excited to volunteer no matter what,” says Bushey.
In the photograph above, Raja Mehmood ’22 (left) assists with the Connect Geneva Bike Collection and Distribution Project which helped connect donated bikes with local youth. This effort is occurring again, and is a Day of Service site where community members can donate gently used bikes.