In Service to Others
June 28, 2012
by Toni Coleman
It's not unusual for a group of Stonehill College alumni volunteers to receive an email about an upcoming reception, a reunion, or ... a sale on school supplies at Target.
The sale notices are part of the mad summer dash to collect school supplies for the Back to School Backpack Project, one of the Stonehill College Alumni Council's most successful service initiatives.
Since 2004, the community service committee has sponsored a school supplies collection drive in the summer. Alumni of the Catholic college stuff the supplies into donated backpacks during a dinner in early August. The first effort yielded 25 backpacks, but in 2010 alumni delivered 350 and in 2011 nearly 300 backpacks for low-income students at seven public and parochial schools near Stonehill's Easton, Mass., campus. The council often collects more supplies than backpacks, and local tutoring centers and after-school programs receive those extra boxes of crayons and other materials.
Service projects-such as the backpack project and the gift-wrap party, in which alumni donate and wrap gifts for needy children around the holidays-are "a way to keep [alumni] engaged with the college," says Peter LaBreck, associate director of alumni affairs. Nearly 70 percent of the college's alumni live in Massachusetts.
"So much of our student experience is centered on giving back to the community," he says, noting that, for example, students harvest organic crops on a campus farm to donate to local food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters. "Community service is part of their Stonehill experience."
To help with this year's Back-to-School Backpack Project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-565-1343.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.