Siena College kicked off the first weekend of April with the biannual SIENAserves: Community Service Day. Students donated their time and energy on Saturday to volunteer at 11 different sites around the Capital Region including Camp Scully, Capital Roots, Schenectady Inner City Ministries and La Salle School. Activities ranged from gardening to painting to helping the site clean and organize their space.
Each semester brings new and interesting locations available for the students to volunteer at. About a month and a half before the event, the agencies that have relationships with Siena are contacted about whether they need volunteers on Community Service Day. Because their level of needs is always changing, students can expect a different experience each time they take part in a Service Day.
The Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy organizes each Community Service Day as well as many other service opportunities throughout the year. Their goal is to create strong relationships between Siena and the marginalized populations as to become “advocates and service-leaders.” As a Franciscan and Catholic institution, service has become a fundamental goal of Siena College. Service Day is unique because it allows hundreds of students to enter the community and volunteer all at once instead of in smaller groups only visiting one spot.
Victoria Fioravanti ’19 is one of the program coordinators for the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy. When asked what she expected other students would get out of the event, she stated, “We hope the students are able to build relationships within their community, learn about what agencies are doing in the community to help, and how they can continue to give back after the day is over.” Even after four semesters of participating in Community Service Day, she still calls the work humbling and looks forward to learning how the agency makes a difference in the communities they are in.
SIENAservice: Community Service Day is a great way to begin learning about volunteerism at Siena. If you go once, you may find yourself eager to come back for more. Local, national and international service opportunities are organized by Siena during the course of each semester so keep a look out of any location that seems interesting to you.