Common Good Day a Success
Story posted September 19, 2000
About 300 members of the Bowdoin community used their Saturday break from work and classes to participate in the College’s Second Annual Common Good Day.
The day of community service is intended to create and nurture bonds between the College and the surrounding community. The College hopes that it will foster a sense of service among the members of the Bowdoin community, prepare students for a lifetime of service to the Bowdoin ideal of serving the Common Good and encourage students to step beyond the campus and become a part of the local community.
Judging by the success of the first two Common Good Days, those goals are being reached. Despite the amount of hard work required, Peggy Schick Luke, organizer of the event, was delighted by the attitude of the volunteers.
"The enthusiasm that students showed for their projects was terrific," she said. "Each group seemed to return from their projects with a great sense of completion and satisfaction."
Faith Perry '86 agreed, and, along with Schick Luke, hopes more people participated next year. Perry and her son helped pick up trash at Mackerel Cove
"The weather was perfect and we did pick up a lot of trash. I wish we had more people with us because there was a lot to be done," she said. "Still, I know the work we did do was appreciated. This was a great experience and I look forward to participating next year."
Common Good Day began with handing out of t-shirts and work assignments on the Bowdoin Quad, and ended with tired, but pleased, volunteers signing their names to a Banner that will be hung in Smith Union.
Student, faculty and staff volunteers enjoyed a box lunch together before heading to their work sites. Though often unpredictable, the fall weather cooperated on Saturday and the sky was sunny and clear, allowing all of the outdoor projects to proceed.
This year many students decided to sign up with other members of their College House, something Schick Luke thought worked well. Three to four people were assigned to each work site, though some jobs required more workers, and many house members were able to work together.
About the same number of people participated this year as last year, but the volunteers worked on nearly twice as many projects. Last year there were between 30 and 35 projects, and this year there were about 65 sites. Projects varied from visitations with elderly residents at some of our retirement communities, to delivering information on disaster relief for the American Red Cross, painting classrooms, building butterfly gardens, litter pick up, and trail work at several beach and nature walk sites.
This year, there were many more projects in which volunteers helped individuals, rather than organizations, Schick Luke said. In some cases volunteers helped elderly people with yard work or painting, in another volunteers helped someone who was visually impaired to label items in her home. The names of individuals needing assistance were provided by local community organizations and churches. Having contact with individuals was especially meaningful to the volunteers, Schick Luke said.
It took the hard work of many people to make Common Good Day a success.
"I can't thank the Steering Committee and student volunteers enough," Schick Luke said. They're truly a dedicated group of people; several of whom were willing to stay up into the wee hours of the morning the few days before the event to help pull together final details. Very special thanks goes to Courtney Mongell, my summer intern who devoted her full time schedule to organizing the event. Her attention to detail and deep compassion for the people of this community are the reasons Common Good Day 2000 was so successful. She has a huge heart. She even managed to arrange for great weather!"
Thanks also goes out to AT&T Wireless Services, which lent the college cell phones that helped drivers stay in touch with volunteers and organizers.
Members of the steering committee were:
Mike Butler ’02
Eric Diamon ’03
Courtney Mongell ’01
Peggy Schick Luke
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