In a longstanding tradition, new Emmanuel students spent the day before classes volunteering their time at 13 sites throughout the city of Boston for the College's annual New Student Day of Service. This year, 492 students participated, for a total of 1,476 hours of community service.
"New Student Day of Service is our way of welcoming and inviting new students to be part of Emmanuel's tradition of service," said Director of Community Service and Service Learning Deirdre Bradley-Turner. "The day provides new students with a first-hand volunteer experience, an opportunity to connect with the greater community, an opportunity to connect with classmates and perhaps visit a new part of the city of Boston."
Students gathered early on Tuesday, September 1st, before heading out to the following 13 host sites:
- Franklin Park Zoo operated by Zoo New England: A 72-acre zoo containing more than 220 species of animals. Students spent the day helping with the up-keep of the Zoo's grounds.
- St. Ambrose Family Shelter: A residential service site of Catholic Charities, St. Ambrose is a homeless shelter located in the Field's Corner section of Dorchester. Students assisted staff with various projects throughout the residence
- OLPH Mission Grammar School: Mission Grammar is a small urban Catholic school located in Mission Hill. Students assisted teachers with classroom preparation for the new school year.
- St. Mary of the Angels Parish: St. Mary of the Angels is a Catholic community in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Students assisted with various beautification projects throughout the parish.
- Cradles to Crayons: This organization endeavors to provide homeless and low-income children with the essentials they require to feel safe, warm, ready to learn and valued. Students sorted and packaged various donated items in The Giving Factory.
- Nazareth Residence: A residential service site of Catholic Charities, Nazareth Residence is a homeless shelter for women and children in Roxbury. Students assisted staff with various projects throughout the house.
- St. Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center: The "Church on Arch Street" is a center for Roman Catholic ministry in Boston, directed by the Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province. Students helped with various projects throughout the Shrine including painting, cleaning and organizing.
- Greater Boston Food Bank: The GBFB is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. Last year, GBFB distributed nearly 41 million pounds of food, enough to provide healthy meals to as many as 545,000 people. Students assisted in the warehouse with sorting and boxing food donations.
- Hawthorne Youth and Community Center: Known as the "little organization that could," Hawthorne Youth and Community Center, Inc. (HYCC) has provided quality affordable programs for low and moderate-income youth, families and Highland Park residents since 1967. Students assisted with gardening/yard work, as well as sorting, packing and cleaning.
- St. Matthew's Parish: A Roman Catholic Parish of the Archdiocese of Boston. Students assisted with various beautification projects throughout the parish.
- St. Angela's Parish: A Catholic parish of the Archdiocese of Boston. Students assisted with various beautification projects throughout the parish.
- Sister Mary Hart Children's Program at St. Katharine Drexel Parish: This is an after school program located in Roxbury. Students assisted teachers with classroom preparation for the new school year.
- Pine Street Inn: The mission of Pine Street Inn is to be a community of respect and hope for each guest it serves, to be a resource through which neighbors and friends can help to meet the basic needs of others and to serve as a national leader in the fight to end homelessness. Students assisted with food preparation and service.
According to Bradley-Turner, each year, 80 to 85 percent of the student body participates in volunteer activities providing more than 45,000 hours of service. Emmanuel has been placed on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for the last five years.
"Our hope is through time spent in direct service, social analysis and reflection students will develop a greater understanding and compassion for current social justice issues and have a transformative experience," Bradley-Turner said.
See photos from the day on our Facebook page: