Binghamton University Day at the Mall is just one of many Binghamton University sponsored initiatives which attempts to reach out to the local community.
More than 100 Binghamton University faculty, staff, students and organizations contributed to some fun and informative demonstrations on February 26th.
Families were treated to cultural performances from campus clubs, interactive scientific exhibits from both the Decker School of Nursing and the Watson School of Engineering, and hands-on art projects for children to demonstrate their creative talents.
Hoping to interact with the weekend crowd at the Oakdale Mall in Vestal, the Center for Civic Engagement was just one of many booths and tables set up to chat with local residents about their projects. The CCE staff spoke with community members about our resources (see some recent volunteer postings here) recent programs and initiatives, and the exciting ways thatstudents, faculty and staff are contributing to the community.
Senior Staff Assistant, Tom Lamphere, had a poster board at the ready with magic markers where children and their parents could share their answer to the question: “I felt rewarded giving back because…”
“It was wonderful to see the responses,” said Lamphere, “Children seemed excited to share their experiences with me and the staff members. Their parents and grandparents wrote down fond memories they had volunteering throughout their lives.”
Popular responses included: “It made me feel good” and “I like helping people.” But some of the more unique answers came from individuals who thought more deeply about their experiences as volunteers.
“I learned how to be a better human, and appreciate what I have as a result of helping others.”
“Many people told me how their first volunteer experience really inspired them to continue dedicating a little time out of their schedules to fit in volunteer work. I learned today that we should try and include children as much as possible to introduce them to public service,” said Lamphere, reflecting on the day.
“I felt that I was making a difference,” wrote one shopper. “It changed my life forever!” wrote another.
These inspiring responses are a true testament to the power of service, and speaks to the fact that community engagement benefits not only those being served, but those performing the service, as well.
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