On Saturday, Oct. 29, students, staff, and faculty gathered to help the College’s facilities team clean up campus in preparation for winter. Volunteers raked leaves, planted bulbs, and did other necessary yard work to help keep the campus clean and beautiful.
Johnson Day is a wonderful opportunity for students to give back to the College community. This annual tradition allows students to show their appreciation for the hard work done by the facilities team all year round.
“Johnson Day was an amazing way to give back to my community and spend time outdoors,” a student volunteer said.
Johnson Day is one of this semester’s four Service Saturdays. The Office of Civic Engagement organizes these events to mobilize volunteers from the College community to help out a community partner in need.
Julia Ruhl ‘25 is the student coordinator for Service Saturdays. She works alongside Paige Begley from the Office of Civic Engagement to coordinate and promote these events. Johnson Day had the largest volunteer turnout for a Service Saturday this year.
“We had fifty-eight individual students sign up, but that also includes the men’s baseball team, the women’s lacrosse team, the men’s lacrosse team, and the women’s basketball team, each under one individual name. So that’s upwards of 200 volunteers.”
For Ruhl, community service is a way for community members to come together and be a part of something bigger than themselves.
“Definitely the biggest benefit is having so many of us in one place at one time. Especially since it’s a collaboration between faculty, students, and staff to keep our campus clean and ready for the next months. Altogether It’s a really great community bonding moment,” Ruhl said.
Ruhl had found volunteering to be a way she can connect with many different people and do something good for others in her community.
“I’ve been volunteering since 8th grade, and I’ve been really involved in many different communities. I didn’t want to stop volunteering when I got to college because I really enjoy it and am really passionate about it. Volunteering allows me to form many new relationships that I wouldn’t have anywhere else, and I get to do something greater than myself, and that’s a really great feeling,” Ruhl said. “It’s a good way to fill my free time and not be so pent up with academic or social stress.”
Previous Service Saturdays this year have included a walkathon in September to raise money and spread awareness for the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, and a litter clean-up in October in collaboration with the South End Neighborhood Association.
Service Saturdays are perfect opportunities for members of the College community to work together to help out where they are needed. Those who are interested should look out for emails from Page Begley or Julia Ruhl and sign up for the next Service Saturday.
~ Veronica McIntyre `24