For those at Smith who have always wanted to give back to the colleges surrounding host communities but never recognized the opportunity, the time has arrived.
Beginning Saturday, March 29, and continuing through Sunday, April 6, Bringing the Community into Focus: The Smith Week of Service will invite together students, faculty and staff members and other folks from the Smith community to volunteer at various agencies in Northampton and area towns on short-term projects.
Organized by the , and , the Week of Service aims to give volunteer participants a better sense of Smiths relationship to its local community and the world around it.
We hope that all participants will gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing our local communities, as well as the resources and assets, particularly the people who are working to improve the quality of life here, says Jennifer Walters, dean of religious life. This is the first year of what we hope will be an annual event that draws more Smith College members together to engage in meaningful ways with community agencies and people outside the college gates.
The Week of Service will begin on March 29 at 4 p.m. with a tea and kickoff meeting for participants at the Chapel. During the entire subsequent week, various service projects will take place throughout the Pioneer Valley.
A Staff Council Community Forum on Wednesday, April 2, will contribute to the week with the theme What a Difference a Day Makes: the Gift of Volunteering, at 1:30 p.m. in Wright Auditorium.
And on Sunday, April 6, the Week of Service will close with a 3 p.m. event that reflects on community service and civic engagement.
One of our primary goals in developing this project is to recognize the depth and scope of the Smith community, says Eliza Brink, chair of the S.O.S. board, and to demonstrate Smiths enduring commitment to public service.
To volunteer for the Week of Service or for more information, contact Brink (ext. 6946, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Walters (ext. 2797, email@example.com).