Mayor Carolyn K. Peterson proclaimed Oct. 28 as Into The Streets Day for Ithaca at the start of last night’s Common Council meeting. A program of the Public Service Center, in its 15th year, brings about 500 students together for one day to volunteer at more than 35 local agencies.
“We would really like to bring in the community for the first time,” said Lauren Wein ’09, team leader coordinator, to the crowded Common Council chambers.
Volunteers, until now mostly students, are organized into groups of 8 to 12 and serve for three hours for one day at non-profit organizations. Emily Bielecki ’07, community partner sites manager, then invited the local agencies to host student groups.
Some of the agencies participating this year are the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance, Immaculate Conception High School, Lakeside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the Ithaca Police Department.
The two main goals of the program are social responsibility and awareness and engaging in public service, according to Shane Dunn ’07, program coordinator.
Students began directing the program at Cornell in 1992, joining the national volunteer program.
“There’s talk that students are apathetic … but one goal of the project is to show that they are committed to being involved in the community,” said Joyce Muchan, assistant director of the Public Service Center.
Into The Streets this year will be on Oct. 28 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by the Cornell Public Service Center, Carol Tatkon Center, On Site Volunteer Services, Volunteer Tompkins, RSVP and The Triad Foundation.