Bearcats team up for third annual Global Day of Service

by Paul McKean ’11,

  • Students pack food for Global Day of Service
    Willamette and TIUA alumni pack food at Second Harvest Food Bank in Saitama, Japan. Photo credit: Sho Yagyu, TIU student.
  • Alumni work at Farestart
    A group of alumni, led by Maxx Kaplan ’11 (center), prepare meals at FareStart in Seattle.
  • Group of law students working at the Oregon Food Bank
    College of Law alumni join Dean Curtis Bridgeman for a shift at the Oregon Food Bank in Portland, Oregon.
  • DC alumni service project
    Alumni clean up the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.
  • CLA alumni at the Oregon Food Bank
    Alumni pack food at the Oregon Food Bank in Portland, Oregon.
  • Alumni in San Francisco butterfly habitat maintenance
    Volunteers help maintain a butterfly habitat at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
  • Volunteers clean up a community garden in Hawaii
    Alumni work at the Makiki Community Garden in Honolulu.
  • Group of students at Global Day of Service
    Eric Lassahn, senior associate director of alumni and parent engagement, kicks off the Global Day of Service with students in Salem.
  • Students stand in front of sign reading “How do you live the Willamette Motto?”
    Students get ready for Global Day of Service in Salem.

Willamette community unites to live out the university motto through service projects across the country and overseas.

Nearly 200 Willamette students, alumni, faculty and staff dug holes, packed food, planted trees and more as part of Willamette’s third annual Global Day of Service on March 9.

With the help of alumni volunteers, community service projects were organized in seven different cities, ranging from community garden maintenance to river cleanup and butterfly habitat restoration.

Meanwhile, Willamette students and local community members led by the Office of Community Service Learning worked at seven project sites on campus and in the Salem area. Bearcats sorted donations at the SOAR Center, cleaned up local parks and helped spruce up the Willamette Valley Hospice.

A tradition of service

Willamette’s Global Day of Service tradition began as a celebration of Willamette’s 175th anniversary. The day’s theme, “Team Willamette,” represented the collective efforts of students, alumni and faculty from the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Law and the Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

“Global Day of Service symbolizes the Bearcat family living out our motto — Not unto ourselves alone are we born — all year long,” said Eric Lassahn, senior associate director of alumni & parent engagement. “But I also hope it reminds us all to continue these efforts to make a difference in our communities.”

This year’s event took on a truly global character with a project organized for TIUA and Willamette alumni at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Saitama, Japan. Willamette alumni also submitted photos from a fundraiser held in Ecuador.

Building connections

For alumni, the event was an opportunity to connect with other regional Bearcats. In Seattle, a group of volunteers prepared food at FareStart, an innovative social services organization that provides job training to individuals with barriers to employment. Maxx Kaplan ’11, a FareStart operations systems analyst, helped organize the project and provided a tour of the facility for all participants.

Volunteers took to social media to share photos, while grateful community organizations highlighted the impact volunteers had during the event.

Additional photos from Global Day of Service can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by searching #teamwillamette.

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