The cool temperatures and wet conditions did not dampen the spirits of around 140 Montclair State University students who went out into the neighboring communities to lend a helping hand on Saturday, September 12, for the University’s first Community Partner Day. Around 100 first-year students and 40 upper-class team captains spent the day helping out in the communities of Montclair, Little Falls, Clifton, Newark, and Hillside, and from all accounts, it was a very successful day.
Among the community partners that the students helped were the Hillside Food Bank, Montclair Citadel’s Cornerstone House, Goodwill Rescue Mission, St. Peter’s Haven Food Pantry, COPE of Montclair, United Way of Northeast Essex, the Ben Samuel’s Children’s Center at Montclair State, and the townships of Little Falls and Montclair, among others. The students performed a variety of tasks including general office work, sorting clothing, and working on beautification and clean-up projects in the communities.
The student’s hard work was much appreciated by those who benefited from it. One letter of thanks sent to the students read, “The residents of Montclair Heights would like to thank you for volunteering your time to clean up the woods near the Montclair Heights train station. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. The woods look so much better after your hard work this morning. You set a great example for our children today.”
Sponsored by the University’s Center for Student Involvement with support from several Montclair State offices and departments including Student Leadership Programs, the First-Year Frenzy Committee, Service-Learning, the Bonner Leaders AmeriCorps Program, the Human Relations Leadership Development Association, the Student Government Association, and the Office of Community Relations, the event was such a success for all involved that it will likely be repeated.
“The staff involved all think the day was a tremendous success,” says Rick Brown, director of Student Leadership Programs. “I am sure we will do another similar event next fall; also, possibly this spring.”
See photos from Community Partner Day.