College of Mount Saint Vincent Calculates the Impact of Volunteer Service
1,190 Mount Students Volunteer 3,372 Hours
Riverdale, N.Y. – Students at the College of Mount Saint Vincent have logged in 3,372 hours of service so far this semester with volunteer efforts in the community, in numerous campus projects, and through student-led initiatives.
Volunteers have collaborated with numerous agencies in the community for broadest impact of their efforts. Students have given their time to the American Cancer Society, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Bridge Builders Back to School Jam, the Bronx VA Medical Center, Convent of Mary the Queen, Dance for PD, Habitat for Humanity in Paterson, N.J., the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Tour de Bronx, the NYC Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country High School Tournament, the New York Blood Center, the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, Sisters Hill Farm, and the Uganda Cow Project.
More than 100 service-oriented events have been made available for Mount volunteers, and of these events, Campus Ministry hosted 11 sandwich making sessions, 10 Midnight Runs, 10 trips to the Life Experience and Faith Sharing Association (LEFSA), three days at POTS Soup Kitchen in the Bronx, two days at the All Saints Pantry in Harlem, and three trips to the Franciscan Bread Line in Manhattan.
In addition to Campus Ministry’s sustained outreach to the poor and homeless, Mount students volunteer weekly at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, and at Leake and Watts, an organization serving children who are disabled. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with local elementary schools by tutoring younger students at weekly outreach after-school programs with Park Ledge in Yonkers, MASA (Mexican American Student Alliance) in Manhattan, and St. Margaret’s School in Riverdale.
The holiday season has been especially busy with volunteer opportunities, as the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive yielded over 200 items which were donated to the Deeper Truth Church in Yonkers. A few days before the holiday, three students helped CMSV alumna Stacy Strong ’11 and the Bridge Builders Community Partnership initiative distribute turkeys and food to over 300 families in the South Bronx.
By participating in service projects, students have had the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of service and the mission of the College.
“Our students are extraordinary in many ways, and one of those ways is in the tremendous concern for those living in poverty,” says Matthew Shields, Director of Campus Ministry. “The purposeful programming of mission-oriented activities outside the classroom fuels this care into action. We think this speaks to the remarkable dedication that our community has for people in need. It is truly in the spirit of Vincent de Paul and Elizabeth Ann Seton,” he says.
Building off previous “Day of Service” and “Month of Service” initiatives, student volunteer efforts have continued to rise throughout the academic year.
“Once a student participates in a meaningful service opportunity they tend to come back to volunteer for more,” says Kathryn O’Loughlin, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry. “More students are participating each year. I think that speaks to the generosity of spirit embodied by the College and how we teach our students, inside and outside the classroom, that each of us has a duty to give back and to live the mission in our daily lives,” she says.
To cap off the volunteer opportunities for the fall semester, Campus Ministry will be hosting a Christmas Toy Drive through December 15, benefiting the Pediatric Unit at White Plains Hospital, St. Joseph’s Parish in Yonkers, and Visitation School in the Bronx.
Over the College’s winter break, Campus Ministry will coordinate their annual trip to New Orleans to help rebuild homes from January 2-7, and their fifth annual service trip to Guatemala with CMSV senior nursing students to serve the Sisters of Charity clinics from January 11-18.
About Leaders in Service
The Leaders in Service series is part of the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s National Measures of Quality (NMQ) initiative—a reliable, sensible model of assessment demonstrating the exceptional quality and authentic value of a Mount education, both within and beyond the classroom.
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.