Campus gets into the spirit of volunteerism
"It is wonderful to be involved with an academic institution that fosters caring relationships between students and staff with local agencies serving their communities." -Mary Jo DeForest, deputy director of the Ulster County Office for the Aging
New Paltz believes in really making a difference. Not just here on the campus, but also in our surrounding communities. Every year for the past five years, students, faculty and staff have given one Saturday in October to help our neighbors as a part of our campus's involvement in Make a Difference Day.
Participation in this yearly service event, spearheaded by our Student Activities staff, continues to swell. In 2008, the college had more than 640 volunteers at numerous local charities; made 503 Emergency Food Packets for the elderly; delivered 158 Nursing Home Cards; and raised more than $2,500 worth of food – bolstering New Paltz’s reputation as a campus that gives back to its community.
Make a Difference Day 2009 offered two elements of the program: collections (leading up to the event with collections on Friday, Oct. 23) and hands-on service (Saturday, Oct. 24).
Participants also enjoyed a closing reflection dinner where volunteers gathered after their day of service to reflect, share and learn from others about the experiences encountered on this day.
Our hope is that by making a difference on Oct. 24, we have inspired all participants to continue a spirit of service and citizenship, locally and globally throughout their lives.