Published November 2, 2018
On a dreary, rainy, Saturday morning, one might be inclined to slip down under the covers for a few more winks. But not dozens of UB students, who ignored that natural urge last weekend to take part in UB’s Fall Community Day, a biannual day of service organized by the Office of Community Relations.
“Community Day is one of many service opportunities for students throughout the school year, and is a day we look forward to each fall and spring because it benefits the community, fosters better relationships with residents and shows students the value of getting involved in neighborhood projects,” said Tess Morrissey, director of community relations.
The day began with students gathering in Butler Auditorium in Farber Hall on the South Campus for a quick breakfast. After receiving their marching orders for the morning, the volunteers were then bussed to neighborhood organizations around the Downtown and South campuses. Once at their project sites, the students worked hand in hand with community members to complete a wide variety of service projects for the respective organizations.
Though Saturday’s rain caused work at the outdoor sites to be cancelled, five local organizations were able to take advantage of the volunteers and provide indoors tasks. The participating organizations included None Like You/We Care, Habitat for Humanity, Say Yes, Compass House, Macedonia Baptist Church and Friends of Night People. Projects ranged from painting the kitchen at Compass House to helping run Say Yes’ “October Harvest Fest” event.
“It was a remarkable experience being able to paint at Compass House, an organization I had not heard about before,” said student Andrew Mavrogeorgis, director of community service and philanthropy Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. “Seeing the impact of our work was very rewarding. I look forward to participating in Community Relations’ future service events and growing our relationship with the community.”
Sierra Johnston, volunteer coordinator for Compass House, expressed her gratitude for the students’ service. “The students prepared and painted our client kitchen,” Johnston said. “They displayed phenomenal teamwork, were very thorough in their work, and appeared to be having a ton of fun while doing it! They completed the job in a timely manner, and our staff was thrilled with the results,” she added.
Students also tackled some cleaning duties at Friends of Night People food pantry.
“The UB students who came down were wonderful,” said Relationship Manager Patricia Krehbiel. “They were a huge help. We have very limited time to do projects around the building, but with their help we were able to deep-clean the dining room, serving line, kitchen, and even pick up trash around the neighborhood.
“They were a fun and engaging group who were happy to jump in to tasks without being asked,” Krehbiel said. “We greatly appreciate that they gave up a Saturday morning to come help us.”
The next UB Community Day will take place during the spring 2019 semester. It is open to all UB undergraduate and graduate students. Breakfast, lunch and transportation to work sites are provided.
Details will be posted on the Community Relations’ website when they are set. Local organizations that would like to propose a service project for the spring semester can contact Community Relations. Note that the office is not able to guarantee that every request can be accommodated.