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Shepherd supports community organizations with 15th Annual Day of Service

By Staff | Aug 30, 2019

Elmwood Cemetery was one of five locations Shepherd University students and staff visited on the 15th Annual Day of Service on Aug. 21. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — While many Shepherd University students were returning to Shepherdstown last week, a few had already been there for a week, participating in Shepherd’s Emerging Leaders in Service program.

The program, which celebrated its 20th year this August, featured leadership and service activities, culminating with a community service project on Aug. 21, the 15th Annual Day of Service. According to Day of Service organizer Hannah Brumbaugh, the day started at 7:30 a.m., with breakfast in the university cafeteria, after which volunteers and program members separated into groups to work at five different locations throughout the Eastern Panhandle until 4 p.m.

“We had five locations. Each year it changes, based on the number of students we have. This year we had fewer students, so we helped out less agencies,” Brumbaugh said, mentioning that the 27 kids in the program were joined by staff members and student leadership employees, with a total of 40 student and 10 adult volunteers.

Some years have seen over 100 Day of Service volunteers, depending on student participation in the program.

“The freshman students come in and sign up for this program during orientation,” Brumbaugh said. “The leadership program is four days, Monday through Thursday, and educates them in team building, community service training and campus leadership training for new students.”

Adult volunteers included a volunteer from each service activity location, along with Director of Counseling Shanan Spencer, Marketing Graduate Assistant Shelby Maly, Career Service Graduate Assistant Matt Hoffman, Student Activities Graduate Assistant Kell Clothier, Returning Sorority Life Graduate Assistant Alyssa Roush and Assistant Director for Student Engagement Rachel Meads.

The eight student leadership employees who helped with the event were: Elana Gutman, Dylon Branner, Conner McManus, Alyssa Garagiola, Jim Ramey, Chris Hicks, Tristan Mangum and Maya Garcia.

“They were all with us yesterday, doing service. It was wonderful,” Brumbaugh said.

Each year, the locations which want to be considered for Day of Service work have to apply for consideration. This year’s five locations have all been Day of Service projects before, according to Brumbaugh.

“At Elmwood Cemetery, they were working with the board to go in and do general cleaning of the superintendent’s house that sits on that property,” Brumbaugh said. “They helped to remove cobwebs, wash windows, just general cleaning of the home’s property. I believe they tore down some wallpaper that needed to come off, and just that general kind of stuff.

“At Shepherd Spring, they helped with tree removal from some of the walking trails they have. They also did some painting there, in their recreation center,” Brumbaugh said. “At Green Hill, they weeded, helped clean off grave stones, worked with people from the cemetery board to make it look more inviting and removed brambles, branches and anything that had fallen on the graves.

“Tabler Farm is through Shepherd University, and our Environmental Science Department uses it,” Brumbaugh said. “They want to use it for sustainable agricultural growth. So the students painted and removed objects from an aquaponics lab. That was the main part of the day, although they also did some clean up there, like they did at the other locations. “At the Garden of Promise, they gardened, they worked with some of the gardening boxes they have and weeded,” Brumbaugh said. “At Burke Street Elementary School, they removed vines that were interwoven between the fence that went around the school playground. Some people did general cleaning at the school.

“I hope for the community, that it will restore hope that the agencies, which are nonprofit, are cared for,” Brumbaugh said. “Not only by Shepherd University, but also by the students.”