Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

240 registered volunteers lend a helping hand at USM’s Husky Day of Service

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Posted on April 19, 2016 in News
By USM Free Press

By Julie Pike, Free Press Staff

Dating back to 2010, every spring at USM, students, staff, faculty and alumni participate in the Husky Day of Service. This event is a way to engage its participants in community service projects with local organizations for the day. The Husky Day of Service is a great opportunity for first time volunteers to experience community service in a comfortable group setting.

This year the 7th Annual Husky Day of Service was held on Friday, April 15. The event is primarily sponsored by the Office of Community Engagement and Career Development, with support from a planning team comprised of students and staff from various departments at USM.

Last year, 70 students, staff and faculty volunteered for a total of 207 hours with 12 local organizations. This year, over 240 people were registered to volunteer at 18 different community organizations in the Greater Portland area. The event’s success continues to grow with each year. Some of the local organizations that were included in the event were Preble Street, Garbage to Garden, Goodwill, Portland Gear Hub, Girls on the Run, Cultivating Community, Animal Refuge League, Rippleffect, Partners for World Health and more.

The event kicked off at 9:30 a.m. in the Sullivan Gym on the Portland campus, where each participant chose their volunteer site. USM President Cummings was there with a special kick-off speech to start the day. Every participant received a free light breakfast and lunch, as well as a free t-shirt and free transportation to their project site. All projects wrapped up at around 3 p.m. to conclude the day.

The event was created as a way to get members of the USM community interested in volunteering, while also providing extra help to community partners who need assistance with special projects. For USM students, faculty and staff who want to get involved in their community but have busy schedules, this event provides a great opportunity to them with a one-time volunteering project. It can also inspire  those who want to make a long term commitment to volunteering in their community.

One student, Gabrielle Perron, described her experience volunteering at the Wayside Food Program in Portland. There she helped package food and brought it to an apartment building where elderly and disabled residents who  can’t afford to buy their own live. Perron and other students also helped set up a table there with different types of foods, and then helped served this food to the residents. Perron commented that “it was really humbling to see these people who struggle be capable of being so happy.”

For any students who want to learn more about volunteering opportunities outside of the Husky Day of Service, they can visit the Office of Community Engagement and Career Development in 100 Payson Smith on the USM Portland Campus, or they can visit usm.maine.edu/volunteer or email usm.community@maine.edu for more information.

 

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