Sixth annual service day send Saint Joseph's College staff out to area communities

Staff and faculty from Saint Joseph's College recently participated in a community service day, an annual event started by Sister Mary George O'Toole, Vice President for Sponsorship and Mission Integration at the suggestion of David Watson, of the Graduate & Professional Studies program.

According to Sister O'Toole, "David Watson rightly said that since we encourage students to do service, faculty and staff should become involved to show that service is for everyone on campus." With backing from the president as well as the financial administrator, the service day does not count against employees' personal days. Thirty-eight Saint Joseph's College employees participated this year, as well as Stuart Leckie of Bon Appetit, the College's food service vendor. (Bon Appetit also provides free box lunches for all service participants.) Community service coordinator Holly Sanborn organizes the community logistics.

Five Saint Joseph's staff members packed food baskets and sorted toys at the Windham Food Pantry, which serves 3,500 individuals annually (approximately 1,400 families) in Windham, and depends on donations. It relies heavily on volunteers, according to manager Madeline Roberts, the only paid employee. "We have faithful volunteers who come every Monday and when school is in session we have many volunteers from Saint Joseph's College..Holly Sanborn is a very intricate part of our success around the holidays, providing us with enough students to make things go smoothly along with the many hours she also gives of her time."

Faculty and staff also volunteered at the Preble Street Resource Center in Portland, Riding to the Top Stables in Windham, Camp Sunshine in Casco, Ledgewood Manor in Windham, and assisted local seniors around their homes with chores.

Sr. Mary George notes that College employees who participate in the service day activities get as much as they give. "No one returns without saying 'It was a wonderful experience.' We have had many repeat performers over the six years."

June 27, 2007 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu