Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Suffolk CCE leaves mark on community during 25th Service Day

Courtesy of Jillian Flynn
Students volunteer at Eastie Farm on Service Day

Suffolk University’s Center for Community Engagement held its 25th annual Service Day March 31, providing students and staff with the opportunity to connect with and learn about the communities surrounding campus. 

The theme of the day was “Together and Better,” encapsulating the 280 volunteer hours completed by Suffolk community members throughout Greater Boston, each of which was dedicated to working together to learn about and help the community. 

Throughout the day, the CCE offered 19 shifts with 11 nonprofit organizations: Animal Rescue League of Boston, Rosie’s Place, Community Servings, Cradles to Crayons, New England Center and Home for Veterans, Women’s Lunch Place, Jumpstart, Suffolk University CARES Pantry, House of Possibilities, Victory Programs, St. Francis House and Boston Rescue Mission.

The CCE provides students opportunities to get involved in the community all year long, but Service Day acts as a concentrated effort to spark excitement around getting involved in the community. 

“We do service throughout the year, but Service Day is a real energy booster for us, neighbors and area nonprofits. Working together throughout the city with a number of folks is pretty uplifting — it feels good! And it is an amazing way to learn about each other in the community and neighborhoods we live in, work and play,” said Yvette Velez, the associate director of community partnerships at the CCE. 

Catherine Madden, a sophomore entrepreneurship student and member of Suffolk’s women’s soccer team, volunteered alongside her teammates and coaches at Community Servings, a nonprofit organization in Jamaica Plain focused on providing nutritious, personally-tailored meals to those with critical and chronic illnesses and their families. 

“This was important to our team, and it was a great bonding experience as well. I think everyone had a good time, and we’d all do it again. Service to us means that we are able to help others and set a good example for our team and university. We are able to do good things for others, and we took advantage of that opportunity and ability,” said Madden. 

Volunteers at each project were taken through the processes and missions of each organization, familiarizing them with the vital work done by organization leaders and volunteers every day.

“I learned a lot actually. We got to see the process of making food, packaging it, organizing it and seeing it get put in a truck to be delivered. We learned a lot about the organization itself too,” said Madden. 

In addition to helping the community nonprofits, Velez hopes that students can gain a greater perspective of the challenges facing the community they live and study in.

“Ideally, by participating in Service Day and reflecting on their experiences, folks will examine what they currently know and challenge their bias. We want to build confidence and empower our community to continue to contribute to our local and global communities,” said Velez.

To Madden, the pride and feeling of accomplishment in leaving a positive impact on the lives of others are unparalleled. 

“It’s just important to help others. If we all could do that more often, we would all be happier and more accomplished,” said Madden. “The feeling of helping others is unmatched.”

The CCE will celebrate 25 years of community engagement on April 13 in an event open to the Suffolk community. 

“Community engagement is in the fabric of Suffolk University. The CCE and Service Day were developed by the students and staff in recognition of the university’s responsibility to be engaged in the community,” said Velez.

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About the Contributor
Maren Halpin, Asst. News Editor | she/her
Maren is a sophomore print/web journalism major with a minor in political science from Milford, Massachusetts. When she’s not in The Journal office, you can find Maren at a program council meeting or in Suffolk’s orientation office. In her free time, she loves to go to her favorite coffee shops, listen to Noah Kahan, Hozier and Taylor Swift on repeat, explore the city and spend time with family and friends. Maren is passionate about politics and hopes to go into political journalism in the future. 

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Suffolk CCE leaves mark on community during 25th Service Day