AMHERST, Mass. – Hundreds of UMass students, faculty and staff are set to participate in the 6th annual Mass Impact Day of Service from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. Students will volunteer with local organizations or lead community service efforts to make a difference in the Pioneer Valley.
The one-day event gives students an opportunity to contribute their time, talent and energy to a host of organizations and projects. The day also gives students a chance to learn more about the communities UMass is situated in and about the importance of giving back.
Student volunteers from more than 20 organizations will be performing different types of service. Some examples are common farm activities at Gardening the Community in Springfield and Sunset Farm in Amherst; cleaning up and doing trail maintenance around Lake Wallace in Belchertown; doing some painting, repairs, power-washing and demo work at the Holyoke Children’s Museum; painting picnic tables at Look Park in Florence; and helping rehab the grounds and create interactive features for discovery of natural world physics principles at Sheffield Elementary School in Turners Falls.
“Each year, we set aside a day early in the fall semester to volunteer with local organizations, giving our students an opportunity to connect with the community and build an ongoing relationship with a local non-profit," said Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life. Working closely with our local organizations instills a sense of community pride in our students, and contributes to their appreciation of the importance of civic engagement.”
For community partners, it’s an opportunity to mobilize student volunteers for projects large and small. In previous years, community partners have worked with as few as one and as many as 80 student-volunteers on projects. Additionally, the event allows community partners to teach students about the importance of their work and perhaps forge ongoing relationships.
Mass Impact Day coordinator senior Scott Bocchio says there are many forms of projects that student groups can undertake, including sports clinics, park clean-ups and playground improvements. Students can propose projects and Bocchio will help connect them with resources and organizations.
Mass Impact Day is sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and Involvement, a division of Student Affairs and Campus Life at UMass Amherst.
To participate in Mass Impact as a student-volunteer, a community partner, or to propose a project, contact Bocchio at firstname.lastname@example.org.