2nd Lee Day of Service a tremendous success
The second annual Lee Day of Service, held on Feb. 5, was a tremendous success as the Alumni Association Board of Directors joined forces with current students across campus at several service projects.
More than 100 Hatters volunteered their time and energy. They cleared paths in Lake Woodruff and Blue
Spring State Park, played with service dogs and painted facilities at New Horizon Service Dogs, made sandwiches for the homeless and toured the Neighborhood Center. They also assisted with an open house at the Florida Museum of Art and worked on a Hatter Harvest project in Stetson’s Community Garden.
Sandy BeVille Furches ’72 shared her thoughts about her experience volunteering for the Hunger and Homelessness project. “Working alongside other alumni and current Stetson students was an unexpected blessing,” she said. “It clearly affirmed for me that today’s Stetson student has embodied our late president’s passion for community service inspired by care and responsibility for our human family.
“Students Lauren Torres ’11 and Mary Kathryn Brummet ’13 organized and led the Hunger and Homelessness service option that I selected. In our assembly line of volunteers, we efficiently made and wrapped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the Hollis Center before leaving campus. We walked to Sunflower Park to share the sandwiches and time with homeless individuals there. It touched me that Mary Kate and other students already knew the individuals we met at the park and had an easy rapport of trust with them.
“From there, we went to The Neighborhood Center less than a mile south of campus on Woodland Boulevard, where we joined students who had been re-painting a living area and toured the facilities. We learned Lauren is on their board of directors and has been volunteering there for most of her time at Stetson. Lauren openly shared about the facilities, and showed us the back play-yard of the Lacy House for moms and children that Stetson students helped create when they learned the children were playing in the street.
“Our tour ended on a meaningful and reflective note in the warehouse where food is kept for distribution. Under Lauren’s leadership, students and alumni shared spontaneous personal testimonies of how close we all are to homelessness through job loss and bankruptcy. It was evident these Stetson students embody the philosophy that all members of our human family deserve a hand up, encouragement, support, and opportunity.
“Lauren’s passion for the homeless and her desire to educate, enlighten, and engage students and alumni are heartwarming and awe inspiring. She brought to life in each of us the reality that Stetson is a place where learning and values meet, where students have the opportunity to be well rounded, engaged with their community, and prepared to change the world when they leave that place called Stetson that is so special to us all. I agree with the closing comment of Paula Slusher Feather ’71, reflecting on the students we engaged with for the day, ‘these students really give me hope for the future.’ ”
Craig Howell ’81 also shared his observations about the day of service. “The Horizon Service Dogs organization does an amazing job with the service dogs,” he said. “Most of the volunteers performed a lot of manual labor, i.e. painting, pressure cleaning, and digging fence post holes for new fencing. There was a great sense of satisfaction helping the facility get a jump on projects that needed to be done.”