This past Veteran’s Day, hundreds of current and former UNH students across the country spent their day off giving back to their local communities. For the third year in a row, UNH Serves coordinated several different volunteer projects with both UNH students in the local area and UNH Alumni in communities throughout the nation.
Here on the seacoast, students visited a local nursing home, created sets of blankets for cancer patients, cleaned up local nature areas, volunteering at a food pantry, and more.
The UNH Serves projects reflect the commitment to service that the university instills in students.”I think that one of the greatest things about UNH Serves is that students get out into the community and feel more connected with people and places in and around Durham,” said Mary Faucher, assistant director of housing and residential life and coordinator of UNH Serves. “They also get to experience the reward of feeling good about helping others.”
I participated in a UNH Serves event this Veteran’s Day in which a group of 23 of us students visited a local nursing home. As music from the 1940s and ’50s played in the background, the other students and I chatted and danced with the residents. It was extremely rewarding to see the excitement and enjoyment of the residents. Many of the residents had close ties to UNH, either having attended themselves or having sent children there. All of the students enjoyed themselves just as much as the residents. There was no groaning to be heard about spending the day off volunteering!
“I’m glad that UNH has a day devoted to giving back,” said sophomore Lea Vivian, one of the students who volunteered at the nursing home. “I really enjoyed spending my day participating in UNH Serves. It was great that the students’ visit to the nursing home made the residents’ day.”
It wasn’t just current UNH students who spent their day volunteering. UNH Alumni groups from across the country participated in UNH Serves events in their local communities.
UNH New York City alumni cleaned up Central Park, UNH Northern California alumni volunteered in Presidio National Park, UNH South Florida alumni spent time at the Wildlife Center of Venice, and UNH Seacoast alumni cleaned up Jenness Beach in Rye, just to name a few!
The enthusiastic participation of UNH students and alumni reflects our university-wide spirit of service and commitment to community. “Having people from Durham and the surrounding community see students making positive contributions is really great,” said program coordinator Faucher. “It leaves them with a great impression of UNH and the students who go here.”