On Saturday, October 14th The Center for Community Engaged Research and Learning at The College of New Jersey, hosted the 3rd Annual Day of Service. During the event nearly 150 participants volunteered in the local community, serving at seven different sites.
The TCNJ Day of Service began in 2015 to honor Pat Donohue’s service and contributions to the greater Trenton community and to The College of New Jersey. Mr. Donohue was the Assistant Provost for Community Engaged Learning at TCNJ, and was responsible for the Bonner Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, the Institute for Prison Teaching and Outreach, and Trenton Works.
Participants spent the day doing a variety of work. Three groups of volunteers helped the Neighborhood Improvement Association by serving at different illegal dumping sites in Trenton. A fourth group did interior cleaning and helped create marketing materials for the Princeton Deliverance Church.
The Campus Garden was maintained by several volunteers who planted bulbs, weeded, and trimmed bushes. Several volunteers at A Better Way participated in hygiene kit assembly and the distribution of bagged lunches to members of the community. The seventh site, Rescue Mission, split volunteers into groups to clean and organize the basement, assemble hygiene kits, and sort clothing donations.
The Day of Service allowed 150 participants to learn, serve, and reflect. As one volunteer put it, the day proved that “We need continuous participation, effort, and motivation to keep making a difference and having our voices heard.” The work does not stop here. That being said, the service completed during the day was impactful: “[I learned] that community members appreciate service in their hometown. During the day, we had a member of the community volunteer with us, as well as a man drive up to thank us for our time and efforts” -Participant.
A special thank you to the TCNJ Student Affairs Engagement Team for sponsoring the 3rd Annual Day of Service.