Elizabethtown College’s 24th annual Into the Streets day of service will be held Saturday, Oct. 28. This event is designed to get Etown students out into the community to volunteer. Each year has an animal-related theme.
This year’s theme is “Shining Into the Streets” and the promotional posters and shirts feature fireflies. The event is sponsored by the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE).
Many of the usual projects are available for students. These include raking and winterizing the homes of community members, cleaning the local park, working at the GEARS Fall Festival and volunteering at ECHOS or the Central PA Food Bank.
This year, there are several new projects and places to volunteer, including the Humane Society of Harrisburg, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS and a food drive.
Projects start as early as 8 a.m. Saturday. Students will depart from the KAV with their groups after enjoying some provided breakfast snacks. Most projects will be over by noon, at which point there will be free pizza for the volunteers in the KAV.
“[Into the Streets] connects the College to the outside community and hopefully inspires them to volunteer in the future,” sophomore Student Leader Liuba Miranosava said. “It also supports our motto of ‘Educate for Service’.”
Miranosava and senior Abby Sanders are this year’s student co-leaders. Other student CCCE employees are also on the event’s leadership team.
Planning Into the Streets involves lots of logistical duties, from coordinating sign-ups and contacting local agencies, to providing food and transportation. According to Sanders, however, coordinators also handle intangible things, such as answering questions like “What is this year’s Into the Streets about?” and “What is our mission?”
“We get to set the tone for the event each year,” she said.
According to Sanders, this year’s student volunteers will help 32 community residents and seven different organizations.
Many of the clubs on campus organize Into the Streets projects for their members. Junior Amy Lieberman has participated in Into the Streets with various clubs every year she has been at Etown. This year, she will run crafts and other activities at the Fall Festival with the KDP Education Honor Society, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the College’s Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
“This event shows students the needs of the wider community and how interested the community is in being involved with the College,” Lieberman said. “I like being able to go out for the whole day and volunteer in the community.”
Students like Lieberman often find themselves volunteering with the same organizations or projects year after year. According to Sanders, with a community like Elizabethtown, this is not uncommon.
“We have seen our students come back from Into the Streets with a new interest in service, with new friends or even with a new relationship with a local community member, who they will continue to rake leaves for, clear snow for and chat with throughout the year,” Sanders said.