30 Days of Giving: Taking Volunteerism to Scale
Beginning Monday, November 26, SUNY will be pinning stories of giving, service, and kindness originating from each of our 64 campuses and the communities that these schools are a part of.
With over 467,000 students, SUNY consistently takes advantage of the opportunity it has to be a significant impact in communities across New York State. The 30 Days of Giving campaign is a great way to recognize students and community partners involved in the many projects that happen all year round at each SUNY campus and their surrounding communities. The byproduct of taking volunteerism to scale is not only building character in our students themselves as they join our over three million alumni, but also to set an example of impact as the nation’s largest university system.
Onondaga Community College
In the 1960’s, a relationship began with Van Duyn Home & Hospital and Onondaga Community College when an employee realized how isolated and marginalized many residents were. The idea was born to bring them to campus for dinner, music and socialization. It has evolved into a campus sponsored event with 50 residents hosted every semester.
On October 17th, the campus came together to put on a special night out for the residents of Van Duyn. Children from the on campus pre-school made table decorations and the College Foundation and unions provided funding. Students and employees provided entertainment, set-up/served the meal, and socialized with the residents. The Architecture & Interior Design Club carved jack-o-lanterns for the dinner, students were involved as part of their service-learning classes and students from the local middle school participated. The dinners provide an opportunity for the residents to get out, eat different food and mingle with the students.
In addition to the dinner event, the campus collects donations of personal items, gifts, and game prizes for residents throughout the year. Consistent communication with staff at Van Duyn helps the College assess the needs and respond appropriately.
The impact on residents is expressed by their volunteer coordinator –
“Many residents have no one in their lives except us. The caring Onondaga demonstrates is appreciated on many levels. The donations are crucial to the quality of life we offer and the service-learning students give our elders much needed one on one attention. We greatly value this relationship and cherish its continuation and growth.”
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