During the pandemic, our capacity to serve others safely became limited. All in-person service became virtual or was canceled. This included our National days of Service, Mini Service Projects, and the Employee Service Days. For the first time since the summer of 2019, Montclair State University hosted not one but two Employee Service Days.
With hopes of growing a stronger partnership, the first Employee Service Day was hosted at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield. In the midst of the pandemic, the need for outdoor service projects increased. With this in mind, the Volunteer Center reached out to Brookdale Park in the Spring of 2021 and a quick & close partnership was formed. Since then, Brookdale Park has partnered with Montclair State for service projects such as 9/11 Days of Service, National Volunteer Week, Arbor Day, and AmeriCorps service days.
In June 2022, 5 Montclair State employees participated in a service project at Brookdale Park. In preparation for an upcoming art fair held at the park, 4 of the 5 volunteers, plus Brookdale Park Conservancy volunteers, began by assisting in cleaning up both park entrances. They assisted in removing weeds, adding mulch, and placing rocks around the plant beds. The Volunteer Coordinator, the fifth volunteer, and Brookdale Park Conservancy volunteer assisted in removing weeds & other invasive plants beds near the children’s playground. Upon completion of the beautification of park entrances, the remaining volunteers assisted in weed removal and adding mulch to the plant beds near the playground area.
For almost a decade, our partnership with Habitat for Humanity Paterson has been a strong one. Each year, the Montclair State community has participated in multiple service projects with Habitat such as 9/11 Days of Service, National Volunteer Week, Alternative Spring Break, MLK Days of Service, & Employee Service Days.
In July 2022, 10 Montclair State employees participated in a service project at Habitat for Humanity in Paterson. Two different groups of volunteers installed insulation on multiple floors in two different homes, while the third group was asked to spackle and lay out walkway stones. The groups of volunteers were able to install insulation on 2 floors in each home.
In the spirit of community service, Montclair State employees served a total of 70 hours this summer. We look forward to working with these partners and others in the future for new and recurring projects.