Susquehanna Community Rallies for Month of Service Worldwide
Published on April 3, 2012
In a remarkable effort to harness the goodwill of its global community, Susquehanna University is organizing students, faculty, staff and alumni around the world to amass a collective 10,000 hours of volunteer service during the month of April. As of March 30, more than 8,000 service hours had been pledged toward the initiative, called SU SERVE (Susquehanna Engaging in Regional Volunteer Experiences).
SU SERVE will “go local” on April 14, when participants will volunteer at organizations near alumni chapters in New England, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., and at nearly 40 locations in the Selinsgrove area.
Closer to campus, SU SERVE volunteers, including alumni from the central Pennsylvania chapter, will care for creatures’ living quarters at Ashburn’s Animals on a Mission in Kratzerville, play cards with residents at Grayson View Assisted Living in Selinsgrove, and help out at Haven Ministry Center in Sunbury, to name just a few opportunities.
Joining alumni in regional chapter volunteerism will be parents of Susquehanna students and high school students who have gained acceptance to the university from those areas. Participants will organize and stock shelves at a food pantry in Westwood, Mass.; accept donations and issue receipts at Goodwill of Southern New Jersey and Greater Philadelphia in Ewing, N.J.; spruce up the playroom and other areas of the Ronald McDonald House in New York City; and clean up the Potomac River Watershed in Washington, D.C., among other activities.
“We are thrilled that so many have come forward to help us reach a commendable 10,000 hours,” said Rebecca Deitrick, director of alumni relations. “And what a pleasure to bring alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the university together in a unified effort that has such an important impact.”
Susquehanna students, faculty, staff and alumni have a long history of community service at home and abroad, and the university has a track record of national recognition for its service programs. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush both granted special recognition to Susquehanna students for their work in the community, and the university has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll six years in a row. Susquehanna’s service programs received excellence and best practice awards from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) in 2007, 2009 and 2010. The school’s service learning programs have taken students on hurricane recovery trips to New Orleans, missions to struggling areas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and community development projects in Peru, to name only a few. In fact, the university’s ongoing focus on service is part of its three-pronged mission to “prepare students for lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse and interconnected world.”
Susquehanna intends to build upon SU SERVE in future years. “This affirms Susquehanna's commitment to service as an institutional pillar,” said Eric Lassahn, director of Residence Life and the Center for Civic Engagement. “We serve because we believe that positive community engagement is one of the key solutions to the problems we face today.”
Karen M. Jones