Monday, March 20, 2017

University of New Haven Students Spend Alternative-Spring-Break as NHS Volunteers

The staff in Community Building and Organizing (CBO) had the pleasure of hosting four students from the University of New Haven for four days of community service during their “Alternative Spring Break,” March 13 through March 17.  Although the cold temperatures and Tuesday’s disruptive blizzard created challenging circumstances for outdoor service work, the students persevered.

On Monday afternoon, CBO Specialist Adam Rawlings supervised the crew as they spread wood chips for walking trails in a section of Beaver Pond Park bordered by Sherman Parkway, commonly known as “Sherman Forest.” In doing so, the students chipped into ongoing efforts that have transformed this park space over the last few years, thanks to the joint effort of NHS of New Haven, Urban Resources Initiative, the New HavenDepartment of Parks and Recreation, and the Friends of Beaver Pond Park.   

After Tuesday’s snowstorm brought Greater New Haven to a standstill, the students returned on Wednesday and contributed to snow removal efforts in the Newhallville neighborhood.  Elias Estabrook, AmeriCorps VISTA and Residential Engagement Specialist, coordinated the crew as they joined ten employees of EMERGE CT, Inc. to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks around NHS-owned vacant properties (in NHS’ portfolio for future development). In the afternoon, Adam and Elias led the students in freeing the sidewalk around the Ivy Street Community Garden, a resident-run garden routinely supported by NHS. 

On Thursday, the students got a break from the cold and assisted staff of the CBO department and HomeOwnership Center by preparing attendees’ handouts for upcoming classes. By devising a coordinated “assembly line,” they printed, stapled, hole-punched and compiled the materials in record time.

Over the course of the week, the four volunteers gave a boost to all three NHS’ departments and witnessed the breadth of our organization’s programs. We greatly appreciate their service.

If you or your organization is looking to volunteer with NHS of New Haven, visit our website and submit a volunteer application.

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