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October 10: Community Service Day at Keene State College

What are you doing on Friday, October 10, Fall Break Day at Keene State? Do you have some free time to help the Keene community? Keene State is holding its third annual Community Service Day October 10 and is looking for students, faculty, and staff to roll up their proverbial (and literal!) sleeves and help spruce up the city of Keene and surrounding communities by taking part in several community service projects.

While some of the jobs are already filled, there are plenty of projects in need of volunteers. How about getting the 100 Nights Shelter ready for the soon-to-come cold weather? Or helping Stonewall Farm remove invasive plant species? Or making pumpkin whoopee pies for the Pumpkin Festival, to benefit the Keene Community Kitchen? Of course, there are numerous opportunities for volunteers to give the area a good early fall cleaning. Participants will have the pick of the litter, helping to clean up several areas, including Ashuelot River, Beaver Brook, and the Cheshire Rail Trail.

Check out all the opportunities on the Volunteer Registration Link.

The day is broken down into three-hour shifts, with the first projects starting at 9 a.m. and the last at 3 p.m. Volunteer check-in October 10 will take place on the Student Center Lawn 30 minutes prior to shift starts. Transportation will be provided to projects not within walking distance of KSC’s campus.

“We’re mindful of being participatory and being active and engaged with our community in positive ways,” said Jessica Gagne Cloutier, the College’s coordinator of community service. “This is certainly a very short-term impact, but it’s been a nice response from community partners as well. I hear every year, ‘This is a project we’ve had on the back burner that we just haven’t been able to dedicate staff time to’ – whether it’s a cleaning project or pulling weeds. We know they’re small impacts but they are things that I think our community partners take a lot of pride in and our campus takes pride in being a part of as well.”

Gagne Cloutier says the response from the participants and community partners has been very positive. “People come back and they’re excited for having participated, and the community partners are excited to have those projects completed,” she said. “We get a lot of positive feedback. They’re excited to get the projects done, but they’re also excited to engage with people from Keene State.”

Community Service Day has been a big hit with the KSC community, with about 200 volunteers taking part each year. It’s not too late to sign up. With a week to go before the event, there are 116 volunteer slots at 12 locations, including 41 openings at a day- long One Community Summit, working with both KSC members and community members to identify our strengths as a community and strategize how we can best use those strengths to address challenges.

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