From filling soup bowls for the hungry to tending a beloved historic garden, Emory alumni and friends unite each November to give back to their communities in service projects in honor of Emory Cares International Service Day.
“This year, with over 1570 registrants from the Emory community, we were able to impact over 9,000 people in 40 cities with 73 projects around the world on November 8, 2014 for the 12th annual Emory Cares International Service Day through housing renovations, food drives, neighborhood clean ups, and more,” says Venus Miller Austin, regional volunteer programs coordinator at the Emory Alumni Association. “Emory Cares continues to grow year after year, and through that growth has maintained its commitment of service to our local communities worldwide.”
Miller Austin says, “It was a true pleasure to witness the passion and enthusiasm of members of the Emory Community across the world convene at their respective project sites on November 8 under one common theme: community service. To be able to witness their participation in person as I visited project sites in Atlanta and via social media from Emory Alumni and students abroad was really exciting for me and truly showed the impact of this wonderful program. Next year is sure to be bigger and better!”From Forests to Quilts to Literacy Efforts
Each year, the variety of service projects performed by Emory alumni, family, and friends continues to expand. At Oxford’s Athletics/Forest Restoration Team/Sustainability Office Emory Cares service project, “65 athletes from all teams participated, plus my three student members on the Forest Restoration Team that regularly work in the forest and helped organize and led the teams at the Serenity Circle,” writes Eloise Carter, professor of biology at Oxford College. She continues, “Thanks to all of you who were part of the [team] efforts to restore the Serenity Circle and Oxford Nature Trail Forest. What a great group of students, coaches and staff!”
Carter was proud of the work done. “This was an inspired work day and so much was accomplished: the Outdoor Classroom was cleared and mulched, the southern route of the Nature Trail was restored and cleared along with the seating area, and the Serenity Circle was restored. Students removed all bits of glass, trash, metal and more, then swept and scrubbed the stone for the circle. Three teams removed invasive Nandina and privet from a large perimeter and lined the trail and entrance with branches.”
Participating in California and Atlanta projects simultaneously, Zachary Cole 18C, his parents Gary and Cari, and his sister Madison, texted about their respective projects all day. “It was a great way for them to feel connected from 2500 miles away,” says Ariane O’Dea, associate director of alumni relations at the Emory Alumni Association.