The Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) hosted the 34th annual Into the Streets event Saturday, Oct. 22.
Over 500 Elizabethtown College students and staff participated in the day of service. Into the Streets volunteers worked in three areas of the community: Fall Fest, raking and winterizing and volunteering at local agencies.
Many student organizations set up tables at the GEARS Fall Fest. Held at the Elizabethtown Fairgrounds, the festival attracted many local families. Etown students helped children create fall-themed crafts and provided more information about their respective clubs.
Other students partnered with community organizations to set up supplies or assist with events. For the first time, students traveled to Willow Valley Nursing Home to sing with the residents and play bingo. Others visited the Etown Winter Shelter to organize supplies for the cold months ahead. Among others, the Community Cupboard, the Etown Public Library and the Central PA Food Bank also welcomed volunteers.
Moving Forward Together and the Etown softball team worked with the Global Aid Network. Together they made packages for people who live in impoverished areas.
Sophomore CCCE employee Kyle Lumbert led the Moving Forward Together Group during Into the Streets. He appreciated the opportunity to lend a helping hand to community members. “It’s a chance for students to give back to the community,” Lumbert said. “Back home there were not a lot of things of this kind to do.”
A third group of students worked to rake leaves and winterize the homes of community residents. Senior Charity Good, co-leader of the event, was pleased that they could visit even more homes this year. “We were able to send students to some new local residents, completing more raking and winterizing projects than ever before,” Good said.
In total, students and staff completed 45 service projects. Over 30 groups participated, including five sports teams. Still more students signed up as individual volunteers, friend groups and first-year seminars.
Lumbert believes that Into the Streets is beneficial for both the participants and the recipients of the service. “It betters our skills to help and volunteer,” he said. “And it creates a relationship with the community so they know we are here, and we want to help.”
Whether students were raking and winterizing, working at Fall Fest or volunteering with community organizations, all participants of Into the Streets could lived out the motto of the College: “Educate for Service.”