From helping organize a food pantry to painting walls at a homeless shelter to beautifying a local park, Whittier College Poets will come out in mass to help their community on Saturday, February 26 for the 17th Annual Helping Hands Day. The event begins at 8 a.m. at the College Campus Center where volunteers will be dispatched to one of a dozen service locations in the nearby community.
In addition to students, staff and faculty, Whittier alumni will also participate in the yearly event both locally and nationally. Graduates living outside of Los Angeles are organizing their own service activities through the Worldwide Poets Day of Service that was linked to Helping Hands 2011 to encourage Whittier alumni, family, and friends internationally and nationally to give back to their communities on one coordinated day, together as one unified Poet community.
"It's great to see so many alumni around the country and abroad wanting to serve their communities on behalf of Whittier College. Right now we have alumni in nine states in the U.S. committed to serving hours at approximately 17 organizations ranging from shelters and soup kitchens to animal welfare and housing projects. This work is an extension of the College's mission and it is gratifying to see it in action throughout all the decades," said Caroline Galvin, assistant director of alumni relations.
The College encourages students from all disciplines and class years to participate in this event as a way to both instill a foundation of giving back to the community and enhance student understanding of the College's strong history and mission of service.
Confirmed local sites throughout the community where projects are planned include the American Red Cross, City of Whittier Parks, Friends of Pico Rivera Library, Habitat for Humanity, Hadley School, H.O.W. House, Intercommunity Counseling Center, Salvation Army Whittier Corps, St. Matthias Church, Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project, to name a few.
This event is coordinated through the Office of Leadership, Experience, and Programs (LEAP) and the Dean of Students' Office.
Since its beginnings in 1994, Helping Handing Day has expanded monumentally. It was a much smaller event and was limited to campus. Continual interest and passion for this annual event is kept strong because of the dedicated Whittier College students and surrounding partners and communities.