Approximately 150 students and staff members from Shepherd University participated in leadership training sessions as well as assisted a variety of nonprofit organizations in and around Shepherdstown and Jefferson County.
According to Rachel Crum, AmeriCorps*VISTA Community Services Coordinator at Shepherd, the program was strictly a voluntary one The 13th annual Day of Service was held Aug. 20..
The volunteers performed tasks such as cleaning, yard work, painting, office and administrative work, and preparing schools for the first day of school at nonprofit agencies, public parks, schools, memorials and a day care center.
"I like helping others. It makes me feel good inside," said Hannah McDonald, a math and biology major from Morgantown, who was pulling weeds at Good Shepherd Caregivers.
Day of Service is one of three days comprising Emerging Leaders in Service, a program designed to teach first-year students about leadership.
By participating in the Emerging Leaders in Service program, residential students were able to campus dorms early, learning their way around campus.
Gary Tucker, president of the Good Shepherd Caregivers board of directors, reportedly said having the volunteers from Shepherd was great, and he hoped they would come back and volunteer regularly.
"It pays back to the community, and you have to teach them at a young age," he said. "It gives me hope for the next generation."
Participants at Morgan's Grove Park found themselves knee deep in Town Run where they worked diligently to remove branches, limbs and invasive grasses that have been blocking the water flow. While the group was not able to get through the Run's full length in the park, they were able to make a start on the project.
The Day of Service was the second day of the inclusion program where the students travel to assigned locations to help such nonprofit entities as Caring Cupboard, War Memorial Building, Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Telamon, Hospice, the Homeless Coalition and a variety of public schools in the county. The third day of the inclusion program had all of the students traveling to the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) to participate in leadership workshops.
On the final day, the participants welcomed students to campus and assist new students with their move-in and adjustment to campus life.