Community Service at Colleges

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Community Service Day University of Connecticut students and faculty volunteered their time and energy on Nov. 20 for Community Service Day.

Organized by the Uconn Center for Community Outreach, the volunteers worked at one of 15 different work sites throughout the day. They included campus clean up of litter around the ponds, sorting donations at Windham Area Interfaith Ministry, reading stories to children at the Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester and making tree ornaments with the residents of the Mansfield Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

"We had a wonderful turnout this time," said Ryan Griswold, Program Assistant. Over 165 students volunteered, including many fraternities and sororities and FYE (First Year Experience) students. "The students had great attitudes and worked very hard," said Griswold, "We were extremely pleased with the results from the day." Two Community Service Days are held each semester, the next on Feb. 26. They are constructed so that students, faculty, staff, and student organizations can choose an activity that interests them.

Participants have had the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects, including building a house with Habitat for Humanity and entertaining children in a campus Youth Day.

"I decided to volunteer because my friend was doing it with her sorority," said Allison Mulcahy, a 7th semester communications major. "I've never volunteered for any community work before, but I had a lot of fun and I plan on volunteering again next semester." Griswold said that the goal of the program is to give participants a one shot volunteering experience. This applies to the novice volunteer who wants to get involved and see if they enjoy it and to the veteran volunteer who is in search of new areas. "There is no follow through required," he said. "We have many participants who continue to volunteer, but...