Community Service Day

By Colleen Cicotta, Associate Director, Syracuse University.

Wednesday July 11th began like a typical summer morning in Syracuse. People from all over were drinking their morning coffee, getting dressed and ready for the day. The sun shone brightly, and a light breeze created the perfect mix of warm and refreshing.

At the Southwest Community Center, maintenance staff arrived early to help clean the building in preparation for the third day of summer camp.  Working their way to the front of the building, they were surprised by several people in orange LGS tee shirts knocking on the door. “We’re with LGS,” they said. “We’re ready!”

The design team welcomed its classmates to the conference room with breakfast pizza and beverages. LGS alumna Lou Anne Mann of Carrier Corporation UTC spoke movingly about the role of philanthropy and corporate responsibility, specifically highlighting the efforts of design team member Scott Hopkins.  Design team member Liza Magley encouraged classmates to prepare for the day while keeping in mind various forms of service, including the “Three T’s: Time, Talent, and Treasure.” Design team member Charles Rivers spoke candidly about the value of volunteerism within his own organization, Peace Inc. Southside Family Resource Center.  He also spoke about how important it was that the design team planned the day of service in collaboration with the partner agencies.

At that point in the day, LGSers were divided into service project teams at Southwest Community Center, Adopt-A-Block, and Peace, Inc. Southside Family Resource Center. Several high-energy teams dove right into hands-on projects; other teams were patient and flexible as they worked with camp counselors to organize plans in support of summer camp activities.

Teams enjoyed sharing project updates with one another over delicious lunches from Leigh’s and Steigerwald.  The design team reassigned some LGSers to be sure to complete the paint and carpentry projects at Peace, Inc.

At the end of the day, all LGS team members reconvened at the Southwest Community Center for refreshing cookiewiches. Design team member Colleen Cicotta facilitated a report and reflection session for classmates to tell each other about their work. LGS Alumnus and Syracuse Community Connections Executive Director Larry Williams spoke with the group about the importance of being engaged and participating in community.  Peace, Inc. Executive Director Joseph O’Hara spoke to emphasize the need in our community for myriad services and support. Finally, design team members Maddie DiGristina and Stephanie Smith discussed next steps and presented “The Three-T’s Toolbox: A Guide to Giving Time, Talent, and Treasure.”  The class, tired and sweaty from a long class day, left proud of their accomplishments and talking about how else they can stay involved in the future.

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