By Sophie Foster
The Student Government Association’s Service Committee, led by SGA Secretary of Service and Community Relations sophomore Stephen Hook, invited the student body to partake in their fall service event, I-Serve, on Saturday, Nov. 19.
According to Hook, I-Serve is SGA’s annual fall service event.
“As Secretary of Service and Community Relations, my job is to plan and execute community service events for our students to partake in,” Hook said. “Every year, the I-Serve location is at the discretion of the Secretary of Service and their committee. This year, we chose to partner with Lockbriar Farms to give back to a local business that regularly serves our campus community.”
The event was a collaborative experience that gave students the opportunity not only to involve themselves in service, but also to explore the farm, play with farm dogs, ride in the back of the farm truck, and eat homemade ice cream, according to Hook.
Sophomore Claire Garretson chose to participate in I-Serve because she wanted to take the opportunity to give back to the Chestertown community that supports the College.
“This is my second time helping at Lockbriar, and I’ve enjoyed both experiences,” Garretson said. “The people are so kind, and the projects they have us work on are both fun and collaborative, so it’s a great way to give back, meet other WC students, and get outdoors on a Saturday afternoon.”
SGA Secretary of Student Life junior Kamden Richardson was also a second-time attendee of the I-Serve event.
“It was super fun to connect with the Lockbriar staff and spend a day helping the community,” Richardson said.
According to Richardson, students aided the farm by collecting trash, moving pumpkins from the patch to the barn for cooking and canning, and putting covers on the strawberry field to protect the fruit during the cold months.
Students also sorted egg cartons to be recycled and rode in a truck to collect stakes for the strawberry patch covers, according to Garretson.
“Overall, it was super fun, and a good day of work,” Richardson said.
According to Richardson, the impact of events such as I-Serve goes beyond just working with the Chestertown community.
“Service days like this show the community that we care, and that we are more than just college students here,” Richardson said. “Events like this also give students here the chance to connect with people in the community, whether that be in the forms of internships, jobs, or other things to help them going forward in their future.”
Garretson echoed this sentiment. According to her, I-Serve and similar events present a unique opportunity to support small businesses.
“I know that our help even for a few hours makes a tremendous difference for the family that runs the farm, so I think students have a tremendous impact on the community when they give up a few hours of their time to contribute to events like this,” Garretson said.
According to Hook, interaction with community residents helps students to feel at home in Chestertown and build relationships. For example, one student was able to find a job at Lockbriar Farms this year after working the I-Serve event.
“Events like I-Serve are essential to building a relationship between our students and the Chestertown community,” Hook said.
Hook encourages students with interest in community service activities to become an SGA Senator and join the Service Committee, which as a group has full agency in terms of the plans for each year and the direction of the committee.
For questions or comments regarding future service work, students can contact Hook at email@example.com, or visit him during his office hours, which are held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays.
Photo courtesy of Heather Fabritze
Photo Caption: Sophomores Heather Fabritze, Stephen Hook, and Claire Garretson were among those helping to prepare Lockbriar Farms for the winter months.