Paintbrushes, rakes and hammers in hand, nearly 200 Cornell students and faculty took to the streets of Ithaca Saturday to volunteer at local agencies for Into the Streets, a national program sponsored locally by the Cornell Public Service Center.
Volunteers listened to speeches by Mayor Alan J. Cohen ’81 and John Bailey, the coordinator of the Ithaca’s One-to-One Big Brother Big Sister program. Both spoke about the importance of Cornell students serving the greater community.
After the speeches, groups of five to 15 people spent three to four hours in downtown Ithaca helping approximately 30 agencies, including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and 4-H Acres.
“The goal of the program is to try to get students of the University off the hill and down into the community,” organizer Sarah Jensen ’03 said. “Hopefully, this will spark interest in continued community service.”
Several sororities, fraternities, student service clubs and individuals participated in the event.
Sarah Baker ’03, who volunteered at a child care center, called the experience “gratifying” and “encouraging.”
“It’s hard here at Cornell because we don’t have extra time,” she said. “But it’s nice to take a break from the books. It’s given me a sense of community and a chance to see what’s out there.”
Joe Rosato ’03, who worked on building repairs, praised Into the Streets for “making it easier to help out the Ithaca community.”
Despite positive feedback, some were disappointed that fewer students participated than in past years.
“I think it had a lot to do with Ben [Affleck] and Hillary [Clinton] being here,” Marcie Houser ’03 said, referring to their visit to the Cornell campus that morning. “Whoever ran their campaign should have been aware that it was National Make a Difference Day.”
Archived article by Elisa Jillson