Maggie Elias ’17
As the weather begins to cool off and students settle into their normal routines, exciting events all over campus also begin to take place. Whether it be athletic events, A cappella concerts, speakers at Vernon Social, or a community service project, students have an abundance of activities to get involved in. Shortly over a week ago, the Trinity community gathered together for one of the biggest and most engaging events of the year.
Do It Day brought together hundreds of students and faculty for a chance to give back to the community beyond the gates of our campus. Do It Day was the kick-off of the community service for this year, but surely not the last of the fun and fulfilling events. Community service and volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to a community which has supported us greatly.
There are a variety of ways to get involved in community service throughout the Trinity campus and you’ll be sure to find something that interests you. One of the most well known groups is the Annual Community Events Staff (ACES). ACES is responsible for planning and hosting events on campus all throughout the year that include both Trinity students and Hartford locals. Their first event is on October 27, which is the annual Halloween on Vernon event. Students dress up in costumes, decorate Vernon Street houses, and host fun activities for all of Hartford to enjoy. Some of the activities typically include fortune telling, temporary tattoos, candy pong, haunted houses, and of course trick-or-treating. If you are interested in partaking in this and other ACES events, the group meets every Monday at 5:30pm in the Community Service Office.
Another popular club on campus is the nationally known organization, Habitat for Humanity. Members of Habitat travel into different parts of Hartford and help renovate and rebuild houses in need. Habitat’s first major event is on September 21, which is the annual Habitat for Humanity Buildathon. This is a perfect event for any fitness or construction-minded good samaritans. Meetings are every Sunday at 7:30pm in the Community Service Office.
January Experiences of Living and Learning and Outreach, better known as JELLO, is another club focused on immersing students in a culture drastically different from that at Trinity. Members participate in a variety of events throughout Hartford, sometimes building houses similar to Habitat, sometimes helping out at a local soup kitchen. Whatever the event may be, every single trip is extremely rewarding and an experience in itself. Two upcoming events for JELLO are on September 21, which is the Park Cleanup at Keeney Park and on October 19, Tree Planting at Knox Parks. JELLO meets every other Tuesday in the FACES Lounge at 5:30pm.
Best Buddies is another organization that appeals to a broad range of different interests. Best Buddies is a club in which Trinity students are matched with someone in the Hartford community that is mentally disabled. The pairs hang out twice a month and there’s a whole group event on campus once a month. If that’s too much of a commitment, you can also get involved by just attending the on-campus events. Their first event, the Best Buddies Meet and Greet, is on September 21. The group meets every Sunday at 6:30pm in the Community Service Office if you’re interested.
On October 2, Trinity will be hosting it’s first blood drive as well. If you haven’t traveled to an exotic place in the past year and you can take a day away from the gym, blood donation is a great way to give back, especially since every donation can save three lives. In addition, the Hartford Marathon takes place on October 12. Volunteering for the marathon is a wonderful way to meet locals and also cheer on those dedicated athletes.
Those are just a few of the community service groups and events going on throughout campus. For those of you that don’t know or want to find out more about all these wonderful things, be sure to stop by the Community Service Office in the basement of Mather. Community service is a wonderful way to meet students and Hartford locals, discover the city, and help those in need. Every student could benefit by being involved in some way.