Students spend day volunteering in the community

Rachel Stalker, ‘Doah Staff Writer
April 2, 2014

'Doah photo courtesy of Amanda Shenk

‘Doah photo courtesy of Amanda Shenk

Even with the threat of snow, students, staff, faculty and administrators spent Tuesday Mar. 25 in the Winchester community for S.U.’s fourth annual Partnership with Community Day. Partnership with Community Day allows students to experience and serve in the community of Winchester and to learn about service opportunities within the community, not just on this day, but throughout the rest of the year as well.

According to Jessica Richardson, who is Shenandoah’s representative for AmeriCorps VISTA, this was the largest amount of projects that S.U. has had since this event has started, with 106 service projects around the community.

Richardson coordinated five events through her position. They included service sites at four local firehouses and the Timbrook Public Safety Center. Richardson said, “The golf team broke up into groups of three and worked at the four stations while a group of six students worked at the Safety Center.” Each site had a change of plans due to the weather, but were grateful for the help of S.U. students and staff.

Firefighter/Technicians Branyon Williams and Rick Burton at Rouss Fire Co. said, “The three gentlemen that were sent to Rouss Fire Department did an outstanding job with station maintenance and clean up. All three were eager to assist in whatever task was asked of them and were very thorough ensuring that each task was completed properly.” The other fire stations were also very impressed and grateful for the help and volunteers that assisted them on Partnership with Community Day.

Another service project that occurred on Partnership with Community Day was Stop Hunger Now, sponsored by the Office of Spiritual Life. This was an interfaith event, with participants from Beth-El Synagogue, the Islamic Society of Winchester, the Ba’hai community,  local churches and of course, members of the S.U. community.

Stop Hunger Now is a global organization whose mission is “to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources,” according to the organization’s website.

On Partnership with Community Day, with the help of all of the volunteers, S.U. was able to package 20,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now. Senior Criminal Justice major Krystie Ocasio said, “It was really inspiring to be working together with several members of Winchester interfaith community and alongside trustees, etc. It was such a great experience and really showed the work we are all capable of doing if we set aside our differences and work together.”

In addition to Partnership with Community Day, the Byrd School of Business hosted its Sixth Annual Business Symposium this year at Halpin-Harrison Hall. The keynote speakers at this year’s symposium included former President and CEO of Porsche, and author of “The Driving Force” Peter Schutz, President and CEO of Valley Health System Mark Merrill and CEO of Inova Health System J. Knox Singleton. There were over 300 community members, local business owners, and students present at this year’s event. It was a major success, and the staff, students and faculty involved are excited for the future of this event.

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