The Fall Day of Service is an annual event where MCLA and Northern Berkshire County community come together to enhance the local community through volunteer work. As the name implies, this event takes place in the fall as part of the Center for Service and Citizenship’s (CSC) continuum of service.
This year’s Fall Day of Service took place on Saturday, Oct. 22. Volunteers included student, staff, faculty and residents.
Christopher Hantman, Community Engagement Coordinator at MCLA, truly believes in the importance of this event.
“Service is important for us as a college community to do because not only do we personally grow from doing service-and that’s what college is, a place for personal growth-we learn to communicate,” Hantman said. “Most importantly, we learn to be better versions of ourselves.”
Students performed service at nine designated locations that have expressed need for volunteers to CSC. They included the Berkshire Food Project, Louison House, and Habitat for Humanity.
The CSC Director Spencer Moser shared a situation he thought really gets to the basis of why this day is so important. One of the sites this Saturday was a demonstration on how to bag knit bedrolls for the homeless. To make these, people knit using only strips of plastic bags. Last semester during the Spring Day of Service an MCLA student taught a local family how to make them. Since then, that family has taught more people, and now the bedrolls are becoming a staple for the Day of Service.
That original family has come back for this year’s Fall Day of Service to teach others how to knit these bedrolls. Moser explained this snowball effect is proof of what volunteering can do within a community.
The continuum of service is a phrase created by the CSC that has developed into an ideology.
According to Moser the continuum of service provides monthly opportunities throughout the school year for students to participate in community service.
“[What’s] important for students to understand about the continuum of service is that you don’t need to have a beginning and end point- you can jump in when you want,” Moser said. “The spirit and the opportunity of service will constantly be there.”
The Fall Day of Service has seen an increase in the number of student volunteers each year. More and more groups, clubs, and individuals sign up every fall.
Amber Coombe, an MCLA student who participated, shared why volunteering is important to her.
“I genuinely believe in doing all you can to help others. There are so many little ways we can each make a profound difference in this world, and I try to do anything I can to support those around me and help those in need,” Coombe said.
According to Moser, the Fall Day of Service began as a spin-off from the day of service in the spring. Moser, community partners and the mayor felt an event like this should not be limited to once a year.