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SBU Comes Together for Community Service Day

Community service day 23 2
Community service day 23 2
Stony Brook students hold up some of the many cards created during Community Service Day’s “Send Love to Our Elders” and “Send a Smile” activities, intended to share love and support with elders dealing with social isolation and children diagnosed with cancer. Photos by Sean Gribbin.

A record 450 new students joined faculty and staff at the third annual Community Service Day, presented August 26 by Stony Brook University’s Center for Service Learning and Community Service.

Volunteer opportunities were available for a slate of 16 service projects that benefited the campus and the local community, including campus beautification projects, writing cards for cancer patients, teaching technology to senior citizens, development of Stony Brook University’s first-ever Career Closet and many others.

One of the highlights of Welcome Week, the day began with a kickoff at the Student Activities Center Auditorium that included Vice President for Student Affairs Rick Gatteau and Associate Vice President for Career Readiness and Experiential Education Marianna Savoca.

Community service day 23 1
Stony Brook students sort through and organize clothing as part of Community Service Day’s creation of an on-campus “Career Closet” in partnership with corporate donor Zebra Technologies.

Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis thanked everyone who made the day possible and welcomed the incoming students who would be participating in the various service projects throughout the day. “Today offers a great opportunity to meet other students while giving back to the community you will call home over these next few years,” McInnis said. “As a person who has spent her life in higher education and has met a lot of first-year students and undergraduates, I know for certain the best scholars are engaged, empathetic, and eager to pay it forward. I am so happy to look across the auditorium today and see all of you — our newest generation of scholars and global citizens — ready to take on and change the world.”

Service projects included:

  • The new SBU Career Closet, where volunteers sorted and organized donated items of clothing, supporting fellow Stony Brook students preparing for job and internship interviews. Zebra Technologies, a member of the Career Center’s Corporate Partnership Council, donated the first round of clothing to outfit the closet.
  • Planting bushes, trees and flowers at the Simons Garden at West Campus and FoodLab at Stony Brook’s Southampton Campus as part of the university’s planting program.
  • Helping Stony Brook’s Child Care Services with gardening, planting, and enhancing toys and tricycles through repairs and painting.
  • Decorating flower pots at the Health Sciences Galleria to be used for a plant sale in the spring to benefit hospital patients.
  • Collecting non-perishable food items from our campus and local community to benefit the on-campus food pantry at Stony Brook University.
  • Assembling snack kits for the distribution among homeless communities across Long Island through our partnership with the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.
  • Making cards at the “Send a Smile” event aimed at providing hope and support to individuals facing cancer treatment.
  • Verifying food resources data to support Hunger Free America, ensuring the database is updated and aiding the USDA Hunger Hotline in connecting individuals in need with essential resources.
  • Connecting with middle and high school students from Big Brothers Big Sisters Long Island through an exciting campus scavenger hunt.
  • Addressing the challenge of social isolation among elders by brightening their mailboxes through “Love for our Elders,” which has spread over 250,000 heartfelt letters globally. 
  • Joining Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church to support the homeless community and assembling personal care kits for those in need.
  • Donating hair at the “Cut-A-Thon” event to support Wigs for Kids and partnering with Wig Allure Hair Loss Center.
  • Joining the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services at the Long Island State Veterans Home by creating patriotic artwork thanking the veterans residing there.
  • Guiding senior citizens from both Stony Brook’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the local community with technology help through “Tech Talks.”



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