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Volunteer Service Day: Starting the Academic Year with a Commitment to Others

Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Marymount spirit of service was on display on September 4 as freshmen, along with upper-classmen and graduate students, devoted the first Saturday of the new academic year to community service. For the freshmen, it was an opportunity to experience the value that Marymount puts on volunteerism and helping others in the community.

Student crews spread out and tackled projects at seven sites, performing yard work at the St. Martin de Porres Senior Center and the Youth Apostles Community House; cleaning and organizing at the ALIVE House shelter for women and children; visiting with residents at a nearby Sunrise Assisted Living facility and the Cherrydale Rehabilitation Center; and spending time with residents of the L’Arche community and the Argus House for Boys.

Ashton Mallon, Marymount’s new assistant director of Campus Ministry, said, “Being in charge of Volunteer Service Day was a great way for me to be introduced to the community and get to know the students. Everyone involved felt good about how the day went.”

Senior David Corrales, a Business Administration major from Alexandria, Virginia, spent the day at ALIVE House, and realized, “The more I serve, the more renewed I am.” He acknowledged that taking a break from studying is important, but “helping others is even more rewarding. I not only enjoyed Volunteer Service Day, I needed it, too.”

Freshman Kristen Dunn, a Psychology major from Austin, Texas, agrees. “I was actively involved in community service at my high school,” she explained, “so I really enjoyed participating in Volunteer Service Day. It was a great chance for me to serve the community and get to meet some awesome people.”

Senior Lauren Patton, a Nursing major from Fredericksburg, Virginia, also enjoyed getting to know fellow students and was pleased that her assignment on such a beautiful early-fall day was landscaping at the Youth Apostles House. She said, “By the end of the day, the garden was looking beautiful with its new additions, and we left in high spirits.” Patton added, “The day made me think of Mother Teresa's words, ‘Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.’ Reading her words now and thinking about what we did, I know that not just my love, but my peers' love, was put into action to bring together people in the Marymount and surrounding communities.”

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PHOTO CAPTION: Marie Spangler (from Elgin, SC), a Marymount graduate student in Pastoral Counseling, cleans up the landscaping at the St. Martin de Porres Senior Center.