September 16, 2013

Class of 2017 Begins the Year with Service Day

Emmanuel's Class of 2017

After a busy (and rainy) weekend of moving into the residence halls and settling into new routines, members of the Class of 2017 joined other members of the Emmanuel College community for a longstanding Emmanuel tradition-the annual New Student Day of Service.

Deirdre Bradley-Turner, Director of Community Service and Service Learning, emphasized the importance of introducing students to service opportunities early in their Emmanuel careers.

"New Student Day of Service invites students to be part of our community; a community that has a long tradition of serving others," Bradley-Turner said. "New students have the opportunity to meet classmates, volunteer at a local agency and learn about a new area of Boston. The day demonstrates to our new students Emmanuel's commitment to community service. By participating in this tradition their first week of college, new students learn quickly that at Emmanuel we expect everyone to contribute and be generous with their time, gifts and talents."

The first-year students, along with current students and staff, met in the Jean Yawkey Center Gymnasium on the morning of Tuesday, September 3rd, to learn about service opportunities in the Boston area through a presentation given by Mission and Ministry. After the presentation, students loaded onto buses that took them to various volunteer sites.

Using the hashtag #EC17Service, volunteers live-tweeted about their experiences, which included sorting clothes at St. Ambrose Family Shelter, organizing bread at the Greater Boston Food Bank, cleaning up fallen branches at the Franklin Park Zoo, harvesting vegetables at the ReVision Urban Farm and registering people to vote with MassVOTE. A collection of the morning's tweets can be found here.

Hank Morgan '16 was one of 53 students to volunteer with MASSVote, an organization that works to register, educate and mobilize voters with a focus on historically underrepresented communities in Massachusetts. Morgan led a group of students to the Fenway MBTA stop and spoke with them about the importance of reregistering to vote at their college in order to take part in local politics while in school.

"Students not only got the experience of working in a grassroots organization," Morgan said, "but also saw the importance of participating in local democracy. I often feel that many people, both young and old, forget the importance of participating in local elections."

While Morgan noted that some people were in a rush to get to their destinations, some gladly registered to vote. For others, the group served as a reminder to vote in the September 24th elections.

In all, 481 students volunteered for a total of 1,443 hours of service at 10 organizations throughout the city: Zoo New England - 49 students; St. Ambrose Family Shelter - 39 students; OLPH Mission Grammar School - 95 students; St. Mary of the Angels Parish - 22 students; Cradles to Crayons - 50 students; Nazareth Residence - 10 students; St. Anthony Shrine - 100 students; ReVision Urban Farm - 14 students; Greater Boston Food Bank - 49 students; and MassVOTE - 53 students.