Dr. Katherine Conway-Turner, President of SUNY Buffalo State College, shares details about the Dare to Care Day events held at and around the college earlier this fall:
On an autumn Saturday morning, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff members arrived at the Sports Arena to participate in our community service day, Dare to Care. This year was the seventh consecutive September community service day at SUNY Buffalo State College, which received the largest response to date with nearly 1,000 participants signing up to give back to the Buffalo community. This Dare to Care Day was held in collaboration with the United Way Day of Caring. It was wonderful to see that several faculty and staff members arrived with their children to participate in the service day along with the student body.
Students and others quickly signed up for the service projects of their choice from the 20 partners listed. Laura Hill Rao, director of the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, and her staff provided outstanding organization and support for the events. Projects ranged from cleanup along the Scajaquada to community gardens to painting projects. Each project was unique and provided support for an important need within the community. Participants walked or were transported by bus to nearby sites.
I was able to visit several projects during our Dare to Care Day. I began working with the Grant Street Neighborhood Center Pocket Park Project, where I joined members of the Buffalo State community as we planted flowers and shrubs in a renovated lot. This project was conducted through a partnership with PUSH Buffalo and a Fulbright Canada grant awarded to Susan Maguire, associate professor of anthropology.
Next I was off to the Broadway Market project, where we were painting recycled automobile tires to create decorative doll structures from varied cultures. I must admit, I was glad to know that the concept and artistic designs had been previously completed, and our task was to translate the designs into a colorful reality. Several of our students had significant artist abilities, and soon the patterns emerged that would showcase the structures.
Then, to complete my service day, I visited the None Like You/We Care project. This is a group of active community citizens led by Elizabeth Triggs. Several projects were flourishing under the guidance of community members, including bench restoration and repair, gardening, and assistance for elderly community members.
It was a spectacular day, one that clearly manifested Buffalo State’s commitment to the city of Buffalo and our surrounding communities. I thank the hundreds of Buffalo State volunteers who joined our ranks as Bengals dared to care for our community on September 19, 2015.
Photos from the event can be viewed here: http://photos.buffalostate.edu/2015-Events/91915-Bengals-Dare-to-Care-Commu/