The holidays remind us this is the season of giving. All members of SUNY make a concerted effort to volunteer and contribute to their respective campuses and local communities. The 30 Days of Giving campaign highlights students and faculty across all of our 64 campuses who participate in volunteerism and give back to those in need. With over 467,000 students and three million alumni, we want to celebrate the impact the SUNY community has made in all of their unique community service projects. As we learned last year, 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.
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
The Residential Life and Services Office at SUNY Downstate conducts a wonderful, and safe Trick or Treating event for children at a neighboring school, PS 235. This is an annual event that incorporates not only a safe environment to retrieve candy on Halloween night, but also a Healthy Eating component, in which children are provided healthy snacks as well as nutritious information throughout their night of festivities. The Residential Students take time out of their busy schedules, put their books to the side, to participate in connecting with the children. Great strides go towards decorating the building, creating a fun and, a little bit scary, haunted house as well as handing out candy and cleaning and reorganizing once the event is over.
This year had a total of 114 2nd and 3rd graders, all who showed up in great costumes and wonderful energy. They were excited and geared up to vote for their favorite pumpkin, hand carved by our students, and take on the floors of either 811 or 825 Residence Halls and then commit on the journey to the unknowing of the Haunted House. Once children went through the course, with their student led tour guides, they took pictures, participated in face painting, collected a balloon and water and were safely on their merrily way home.
This event does not only benefit the children which we serve on this Halloween night, but it contributes to us all. A piece of childhood is restored and a moment of putting aside all of life’s pressures and responsibilities makes this a joyous occasion for us all.
Glenn is a student assistant in the Office of New Media of the State University of New York. He is an undergraduate economics and political science major at the University at Albany in Albany, NY.