In recognition of the National Day of Service this year on Sept. 11, the Programing Activities Council (PAC), Community Initiatives and Volunteer Involvement Club (CIVIC) and the Center for Social Justice and Community Impact (SJCI) offered a weekend filled with volunteer opportunities to engage in the local community around Wheaton. The days of service began on Friday, Sept. 13 and continued till Sunday, Sept. 14.
The National Day of Service was a federally-recognized day of unity and charitable service, annually observed throughout the United States and in other countries around the world on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
This year, volunteers participated in community service projects addressing education, land conservation, the environment, poverty, animal welfare and supporting our local fallen veterans. A few activities were postponed to a later date due to a lack of volunteers. Wheaton students did not end up cleaning veterans’ tombstones or participating in the Fall Consignment Exchange.
Wheaton students cleaned and decorated classrooms at Norton Head Start, a preschool program near Wheaton. They spent time cleaning the Norton Reservoir while transporting themselves in kayaks and cleaned the scenic reservoir shorelines. At the Nine Lives of Norton Feline Rescue Shelter, Wheaton students helped the center prepare for their annual yard sale fundraiser.
A group of students also went to Cradles to Crayons, which is an organization that provides children essentials they need based on donations. The student-volunteers got to help package items that would be sent to local disadvantaged children.
Other students traveled to Crystal Springs Earth Learning Center, in Plainville, Massachusetts, where they engaged in land conservation efforts. Another conservation-oriented student-volunteer group went to Camp Edith Read Property to help preserve the land for the Norton community.
Overall, 44 Wheaton College community members engaged in 139 hours of service over Wheaton Cares Weekend.