Thursday, Oct. 18th 7:00 p.m. Axinn Rm. 219
This summer seven Middlebury students helped tackle issues of poverty through paid internships in Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, and, locally, in Addison County (VT). Come hear about their experiences working with immigrant services, emergency housing, farm to table and gleaning initiatives, social services for women and children, and environmental education in coal country. For students interested in poverty studies at Middlebury, Tiffany Sargent (EIA) and Professor James Davis (Religion) will be on hand to share information about these annual internship opportunities, as well as about Middlebury’s exploration of a Privilege and Poverty program as part of the Shepherd High Education Consortium on Poverty. Sponsored by EIA Civic Engagement.
Courtney Devoid with some leeks and lettuce at Nash Farm.
Eleven Middlebury College students spent their spring break building for the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. This is the fifth trip that the Middlebury chapter of Habitat for Humanity has taken to Asheville where they build for the entirety of spring break.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization dedicated to building affordable housing for low income families. With volunteer help, a variety of grants, and local purchases made at the very popular ReStore, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is able to provide no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans to its beneficiary families.
For the duration of the trip, students had an early rise and were on the worksite by 8:15 am. There, they participated in a variety of work, from digging the foundation of a house, to spackling, to putting up walls, to securing roofing. After approximately seven hours of work, students enjoyed cooking their own dinner with accommodations provided by a local Middlebury family, and exploring the quirky city of Asheville.
Trip leaders Mia Benjamin ’13 and Lindsey Hunt ‘14 found the trip to be a great success. They are currently planning to continue building with the Middlebury Area Habitat for Humanity this spring as more opportunities arise to contribute to the community we have here in Vermont. If you are interested in getting involved, please feel free to email MiddHabitat at email@example.com.
Five Middlebury College students participated in the Middlebury Alternative Break Trip (MAlt) to Burlington, VT over spring break with members of the Burmese community. MAlt is a student organization that provides student-designed and student-led service trips for Middlebury College students over Fall, February, and Spring Break.
During the trip participants stayed with Burmese host families for three nights and had the opportunity to learn about Burmese culture and share their own culture through interaction with Burmese children and adults, including meals. Many Burmese refugees settled in Burlington through the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. Middlebury College participants led workshops on citizenship topics since many community members are currently studying for the United States citizenship exam. Other service activities included helping children with homework, teaching ESL, and taking the children on cultural outings within Burlington.
Trip leader Carson Hauck ’14 shared, “The trip was a great opportunity for Middlebury students to learn about the culture and stories of the Burmese refugees in nearby Burlington, as well as a chance to form a deeper connection with Vermont communities off-campus.” Middlebury alum Htar Htar Yu ’08 serves as a staff interpreter for the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program and helped interpret for the group and coordinate activities throughout their trip.
Carson will continue to coordinate volunteer work with the Burmese community this spring through a student initiative, Friends of Burma. If you’re interested in volunteer opportunities with the group please contact Carson Hauck, firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Ashley Calkins, email@example.com with questions about the MAlt program.
Four Middlebury College Students, Katie Willis ’12, Kate Strangfeld ’12, Emma Burke ’12, and Lauren Honican ’15, took advantage of a Civic Engagement Mini-Grant to fund their trip to the Just Food Conference in New York City, where they spent two days attending workshops, learning about food issues and achievements, and meeting other like-minded people, all over good food and conversation! They plan to keep what they learned in mind in their work with food-related initiatives on campus, as well as share ideas and information with others. For example, check out Kate’s blog post about the event here.
Some of the students will be volunteering to prepare apples for freezer kits to donate to the Addison County Food Shelf, today Friday 3/2, from 3-5 pm at Weybridge House. Come to give back to the community, and learn more about the Conference!
For more ways to get your service projects funded, or to learn more about Civic Engagement in the EIA, click here.
Successful Day of Volunteering in Commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.
January 23, 2012
Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” On Saturday, over 60 Middlebury College students embodied King’s quote as they participated in over 200 hours of community service. The Day of Service was planned in conjunction with Middlebury’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and under the guidance of Ashley Calkins, Community Engagement Coordinator at Civic Engagement in the Center for Education in Action.
Throughout the day, students participated in a plethora of service opportunities on campus and around the community. Volunteers were involved at HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects), Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, VSO Project Independence, VSO Mothers Without Borders, the John Graham Shelter, and at the Ilsley Library with DREAM. Service activities will continue next weekend with Xiao Pengyou.
Sporting the “Make it a Day On, Not a Day Off.” shirts, volunteering ranged from apple-peeling, coring and bagging at the HOPE worksite, to providing talented musical entertainment at Helen Porter. Students immersed themselves in activities with elderly residents such as playing pool, board games, and read-ins, invigorated their creative minds with the crafting of Brady blankets for local hospitals, and led craft activities for children at the local library.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service provided students with the opportunity to step off campus, whether literally or figuratively, and step into a place where community involves a diversity of life experiences. From aiding the elderly to educating the young, from providing food to providing warmth, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service provided as a successful time to do something for others in the greater community.