Service project enters second year
By CRISSIE RENNER
About 65 Saint Mary's students, faculty and staff members volunteered at local agencies Saturday as part of the second annual Saint Mary's in the City community service program.
Sister Linda Kors, director of the Spes Unica Volunteer Resource Center, established the program last year as a way to observe Founder's Day by assisting local agencies.
The program began last year with St. Margaret's House, a daytime drop-in center for women, children and boys 12 years old and younger. It expanded this year to also include St. Joseph's Care Center, which houses about 150 senior citizens.
At St. Margaret's, the volunteers worked alongside the agency's guests, cleaning and painting the first and second floors. They also organized the agency's food pantry and painted a mural.
"They were so excited to see the agency transform before their eyes," Kors said. "They felt a closeness to Saint Margaret's — a sense of home."
"We chose Saint Margaret's House to embrace as our own agency," she added. "We wanted to have an impact on this particular agency, especially since it was a women's center, and so we have in a sense, adopted it as our own."
At St. Joseph's, volunteers painted, washed windows and weeded the garden. They also planted new spring perennials.
Kors said the program included St. Joseph's this year because its mission is similar to Saint Mary's.
Sophomore class president Michelle Nagle volunteered at St. Joseph's. She washed windows, including those inside the resident's rooms.
"It was amazing being able to say just a few words to the residents and being able to brighten their entire day," Nagle said. "Something as simple as cleaning their windows made such a difference to them. It meant the sun would shine so much brighter in their rooms."
The sophomore class board co-sponsored this year's event with SURV. Nagle said this is only the first of many co-sponsored service projects.
"The idea to co-sponsor a service project every month with the SURV office was included on our original platform during elections," she said. "We recognized the incredible women of Saint Mary's College and we wanted the entire community to appreciate them as well."
The day was a "great success," Kors said.
"By having this event in September, we help those who are interested in service opportunities to get off on the right foot," she said. "By inviting students, faculty, staff and their families, it is not only a Saint Mary's project, but a community project as well."
Kors added that the program may expand.
"It would be such a great idea to try Saint Mary's in the City again in the spring time," Kors said. "Perhaps we could enjoy the blooms of the bulbs we planted and have a tea party with the residents."
Kors explained that there are many service opportunities available to the members of the Saint Mary's community. A post-graduate service fair will showcase more than 60 international and domestic service groups this Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Notre Dame in Stepan Center.
All News Stories for Monday, September 13, 1999