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Students Turn Out in Droves for 18th Make a Difference Day


Hamilton students filled the Events Barn on Sept. 7 to sign up to volunteer at more than 20 non-profit agencies in Oneida County for Make A Difference Day. The students provided a variety of services ranging from cleaning the Utica Children’s Museum, polishing the kitchen at Hope House, weeding the garden at Clinton Elementary School, and leading activities at Lutheran Care Nursing Home. The event is organized by organized by Hamilton Association for Volunteering, Outreach and Charity (HAVOC), Hamilton’s largest student-run volunteering organization

“It’s really wonderful that everyone got up early and came out to volunteer in groups with us,” said Amy James, director of Community Outreach. “Today, almost too many people showed up [to organize], and I think that says a great thing about our community.”

The student volunteers took advantage of this opportunity to work in the Clinton-Utica-Rome communities. Many of them were eager to get to know the locals they were helping out.

Ten members of the Men’s Lacrosse Team volunteered at Stone Presbyterian Church in downtown Clinton. The services they provided included sweeping, dusting, and polishing the inside as well as weeding and mulching the garden.

“It felt good to help clean the church and ease the work that is usually done by only a few elderly church members,” said Max Scheidl ’21. “I took pride in making the church look nicer than when we arrived.”

The Women’s Swim Team volunteered at Clinton Elementary School’s community garden. After the 28 women finished weeding, trimming the shrubs, and re-edging the flower beds, the garden was left polished and ready for the Clinton Elementary students to return to. “I had so much fun! It was cool to see how much we got done in just hours,” said Hana Lindsey ’20.

Many of Hamilton’s Greek life organizations also participated in Make A Difference Day. Members of the sorority, Alpha Theta Chi (ATX), spent the day at Root Farm repainting a chicken coop. The farm employees were very appreciative, as this job normally takes them much longer without so many helping hands.

“We learned a lot about the daily jobs that take place on the farm and how much work it takes to maintain it all,” said Alina Bulazel ’22. “It was very rewarding to see the before and after of the freshly painted coop.”

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