The giving season is upon us, and we take pride in our commitment to community service and volunteerism at SUNY. Each of our 64 colleges and universities has a large impact on both their communities and New York State, which includes the ability to engage and give back to neighbors and those who are in need. At the end of each year, we like to take time to look back at some of the many things our schools have done for those in need in throughout the state and across the nation.
30 Days of Giving is our annual tradition, which starts on Thanksgiving every year, and gives us the opportunity to highlight selfless acts of charity that also inspire others to give back however they can during the holidays. From small to large acts of kindness, our students, faculty, and staff never cease to find new ways to help out their communities and neighbors in need.
This year, the strength of our collective efforts can be seen with SUNY’s presence in Puerto Rico. Over the summer, 500 State University of New York and City University of New York students were deployed to support Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s “Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative” and to help Puerto Rico stand on their feet after the afterdestruction of Hurricane Maria in 2017. This initiative was formed after Hurricane Maria, a category three storm, devastated the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, leaving many of the citizens of the island without power. These recovery efforts started in June, where waves of students would stay 2-4 weeks in Puerto Rico to help its citizens rebuild, restore power, and recover. In total, our students dedicated over 25,000 hours of volunteer work this summer, and those who participated continuously stated that their experience was “life-changing.”
The Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative has been one of the most prominent acts of giving that the SUNY system has implemented. However, there are many other ways that our SUNY schools have made a positive impact on our communities.
Community service at SUNY is not limited to our campuses – it extends far beyond. Students have an opportunity each and every day to do something kind for their communities and give back. Stay tuned during the upcoming 30 days to learn about the variety of events and efforts put forward by SUNY schools to give back in 2018. You can even get your own ideas for new ways you can give back by the end of the year. We’ll have a running list of entries posted each day below!
Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.