Margaret Mead once said to “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” With this in mind, more than 1,000 freshmen at the University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music ventured into the city and suburbs to volunteer at nearly 60 of Rochester’s nonprofit organizations during the 2nd annual George Eastman Day of Service and 23rd annual Wilson Day.
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Eastman Day of Service took place on Friday, Aug. 26. Throughout the day, students worked at the Rochester Association of Performing Arts, where they cleaned and painted areas of RAPA’s 20,000 sq.ft facility, while learning about the mission and work of the association. A group of 20 students were introduced to Garth Fagan Dance, as they helped the company clean and paint its facilities. A third group worked with the Arthritis Foundation, where they prepared goodie bags for participants of the upcoming Rochester Marathon on Sept. 18.
Wilson Day, a service experience for River Campus freshmen, took place on Monday, Aug. 29. Among the sites for Wilson Day, students volunteered at the Rochester Presbyterian Home, where they visited with elderly residents of the home and participated in activities including bowling and sing-a-longs. A small group visited RCSD School #19, where they prepared bulletins boards and organized library books for the start of the school year. Another group of freshmen headed out the Penfield to work at Freshwise Farms, weeding, turning soil, and planting vegetables in the farm’s garden.
Both days are part of the orientation programs for freshmen, and are geared toward creating connections among students while introducing them to Rochester and the many volunteer and exploration opportunities the city has to offer.
While some freshmen got a glimpse of the many community service opportunities available in Rochester, others participated in the Urban Explorers’ Wild Goose Scavenger Hunt. These freshmen headed out into the city and learned a little about Rochester’s rich history.