Amidst occasional mists of rain and cloudy skies, the combined efforts of MCLA students and community members worked to accomplish the eighth Fall Day of Service.
The volunteers attended a breakfast in Venable Gym before hearing some words from prominent members of the campus and city community. Mayor Richard Alcombright spoke on the relationship between MCLA and the city of North Adams while President James Birge emphasized the importance of community work.
The organizers of the event, Spencer Moser, director of the Center for Service, and Christopher Hantman, the community engagement coordinator, both spoke of the work done in years past and the origins of the Day of Service.
“The Fall Day of Service has been going for eight years and the spring day for 26,” said Hantman. “[The Fall Day of Service] was created out of a student desire to have a day during both semesters.”
After an early assemblage of students and MCLA community members, buses and vans brought these volunteers to about 15 sites across North Adams; from the reservoir to the campus of MCLA, the volunteers worked on a wide variety of jobs.
“Gardening at the YMCA, cleaning a park at Mohawk Forest, landscaping at the spruces, trash removal of the North Adams walking loop, Central Radio cleanup, a workshop/dialogue on privilege, cleaning at the Berkshire Food Project, and more,” Hantman said.
The Central Radio location was home to five television sets, several rugs, and a stray couch. Students here moved the large items out into the street where North Adams’ employees could grab and properly dispose of them. All small trash items went into bags that sat alongside the television sets and rugs.
“It is an opportunity for a big impact to happen on our community. With 120+ people volunteering for 2 1/2 hours, that’s over 300 hours of service! This is also an opportunity for us to give back to community partners that do so much to support our community,” Hantman said. “This is also a favorite event of many students because everyone is there to make a difference, and that energy and love is palpable in the room!”
With just over 120 people in attendance this semester, the Fall Day of Service seems to be a well-entrenched tradition.