By Andrew Antonio
Elm Staff Writer
Kent County, Maryland is the scenic peninsula of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and home to our very own Washington College. Most of us appreciate the beauty and charm of the Eastern Shore. In fact, it’s the charisma of the locale that attracted many of us to WC in the first place. Chestertown in particular is a very special place, near and dear to all of our hearts. We witness, and sometimes take for granted, the beauty of the Eastern Shore. And even in all its splendor and charm lies a county in need of service and support—service that we, as members of the WC community, are in an ideal position to provide.
The unfortunate truth is that 13 percent of Kent County’s population lives below the poverty line. Many families in our midst struggle to make ends meet. With the knowledge, energy, and resources we have at hand, we have the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of the underprivileged and disadvantaged families in our very own community.
We often overlook the needs of people living just doors away from us in an effort to tackle global and national charitable initiatives. The main reason this tends to happen is that the need for service in our local community isn’t as transparent as we would like it to be. There simply isn’t a bridge that connects the members of our college community directly to the members of our local community in need. Lucky for us, that’s all about to change.
WC Students in Free Enterprise (WC SIFE), the Office of Student Development, the Service Council, and the SGA have teamed up to host an event that will bridge the gap between our campus and the local community. “Neighbors for Good: Connecting Campus and Community” is in essence a service summit that connect students and organizations on campus with local community service agencies in Kent County and the greater Chestertown area. Please join us Saturday, March 5, at the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Performing Arts to see how you or your organization can fit into the community service equation at WC. A morning plenary session followed by a networking forum will provide community agencies the opportunity to cultivate long-term partnerships with WC students and student organizations.
Community organizations representing a wide variety of service missions will be present on the day of the event. The scope of service activities is broad, ranging from helping local families in need to aiding in the protection of the local environment. We encourage all student clubs and organizations to attend the event, whether your organization is service oriented or simply looking to lend a helping hand. Each student organization will be given a table at the networking forum so local community agencies can circulate and connect with student organizations that have similar missions. We ask that at least one or two of your members be present at the event, but of course, more are always welcome.
The introduction of “Neighbors For Good: Connecting Campus and Community” is a big step in the right direction for the well being of our local community. With your participation and support, we can make a significant impact on the lives of those living within our reach.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you are interested in participating. If your organization is already connected with a community agency, we’d love to hear about it. Registration materials will be made available at the beginning of next semester, and more information will be posted at http://studentlife.washcoll.edu/neighborsforgood/.
Save the date for March 5. We look forward to seeing you there.