Community Service Day
Community Service Day Blog
by Brian Platt
July 10, 2013
During the first-ever LGS community service class day, the class of 2013 completed 300 hours of community service at 12 organizations throughout Syracuse. The organizations served included the following:
- Food Bank of Central New York
- St. Camillus
- Syracuse Grows
- Rescue Mission
- Determination Center
- Francis House
- Dunbar Center
- Interreligious Food Consortium
- Habitat for Humanity
- Salvation Army
- Say Yes to Education
The class was divided into eleven groups of five people each. Each group participated in a three hour morning and three hour afternoon service activity and was led by a member of the Community Service Day design team.
The class reconvened at day’s end at the White Water Pub in Liverpool to share their experiences with the class and have some fun. Based on the observations and thoughts shared, the class felt rewarded and fulfilled by donating their time that day. Highlights and observations from some of the group leaders are provided below.
“We were split up into classrooms of approximately 10-15 kids for play time. The group played board games, puzzles, indoor basketball etc. This was by far, the most rewarding part of the day for the group.”
“The kids were so excited to have the attention and interaction with another adult it was a very energizing way to spend the morning. It was rewarding to see how excited the kids were to have you listen to them and spend time with them. When I started to read a book to one of the kids the other kids each went over and grabbed books they wanted to hear. They were eager to point out different things in the story that they knew about to share with me. One little girl in Mike’s classroom said it was nice to see a male adult.”
“…both teams pulled together in an incredible way.”
“As we completed our boxed lunch at the Dunbar Center there we had the opportunity to take photos with SU student athlete, Baye Moussa Keita”
The Determination Center
“Needless to say that from my perspective and those of other LGS members who I talked with while we were there, we were all amazed at the energy, structure, programming and the behaviors of the young people and certainly their energy level.
We listened to her struggle for more funding and improved facilities, but does not mean she turns any kid away pulls at your heart; but she pushes on, a lot of times out of her own pocket.”
Food Bank of Central New York
“For most of us we have never had to experience not having enough food for ourselves and our family. Helping out the Food Bank of CNY was incredibly educational as we were not aware of their 11 county reach and the fact that they distributed more than 13 million pounds of food their last fiscal year. I really liked the fact that LGSers are now aware that they can bring volunteer groups just about any time to help the Food Bank. The work is easy and so very helpful!”
Habitat for Humanity
“Overall, the group had a positive experience and there was a ton of great feedback. For those folks who do not currently volunteer, I believe the day definitely sparked their interest. A small group of people can make a difference and our group exemplified this.”
Interreligious Food Consortium
“The most rewarding part of this service activity was providing the director of the IFC an opportunity to be interviewed by YNN. IFC is a very small organization that only has one full time employee. The director greatly appreciated the opportunity to promote her facility on television.”
“We worked alongside middle school Syracuse City School District students from the Jubilee Homes summer program to make improvements to the Southwest Community Garden. The kids take produce from the garden and sell it at farm stands throughout the community. They learn aspects of operating a business. Listening to one student talk about how important the program was to him made an impression on me. Our group really pulled together to complete our tasks prior to stopping at 4pm too. That made an impression on me.”
The Community Service Day design team is eagerly waiting for feedback from the class regarding how the day went and how it can be improved for next year. We established a solid foundation for future community service class days to work from, and knowing that is very rewarding to the design team. It aligns with our theme for the day of “Striving for Long Term Commitment” to community service.