Colby students and alumni joined forces this spring to serve their communities and strengthen connections within the Colby network.
On Saturday, April 25, nearly 300 students volunteered for 28 local organizations as part of the 19th annual Colby Cares Day, and on Saturday, May 2, about 80 alumni in Boston and Washington, D.C., pitched in to help their communities in the second annual alumni component of the event.
The Colby Volunteer Center (CVC) coordinated Colby Cares Day in Waterville and connected with alumni to implement off-campus projects. “We were very excited to organize the events together and increase the Colby student-alumni connection,” said CVC codirector Meghan Harwood ’15.
In the Waterville area Colby students helped in dozens of ways, from doing yard work at the Waterville Historical Society to playing bingo with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the Best Buddies program. Some students participated with their teams and clubs; the Nordic ski team helped rebuild an Alfond Youth Center baseball field, and the football team hosted a youth football camp.
According to Harwood, Colby Cares Day provides an opportunity for students who can’t commit to weekly volunteering. “Colby Cares Day becomes a great time for students who don’t have that opportunity to interact with community members outside of Colby,” she said.
Likewise, alumni have the chance to connect with their local community and with the Mayflower Hill community by partnering with the CVC—a collaboration that enriches the experience for all, according to Madison “Madi” Louis ’13, one of the organizers. “For students, it allows them to see that Colby’s value on community service continues even after they leave Mayflower Hill, and for alumni, it reunites them with the Colby community,” she said.
Sameera Anwar ’10, Brandon Pollock ’10, and Amanda Carbonneau ’14 joined Louis in spearheading Boston events while Michael Brophy ’12 and Julia Prezioso ’14 took the lead in Washington, D.C.
In Boston, volunteer work included cleanup and garden maintenance for Boston Natural Areas Network and the Esplanade Association, helping with Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger, and working with teens to sort donations at More Than Words, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering at-risk youth.
D.C. alums collaborated to weed, mulch, trellis, and harvest at Bread for the City’s organic fruit orchard in Beltsville, Md.—an operation that yields upward of 45,000 pounds of fresh fruit annually for distribution to area residents in need.
“We are fortunate to have an actively engaged alumni community,” said Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Meghan Gray, who helped promote the alumni event. “A day like Colby Cares allows our constituents to do something great in their current community while reminiscing about their time as a student. It’s also a great event that can bring alumni from various decades together for one common cause.”