At the Heart
Those of us who tell Saint Michael's stories to alumni, parents, friends and prospective students often talk about our commitment to service, which reflects Christ's teachings to love one another as we have been loved.
While our students have multiple service opportunities during the academic year, particularly through MOVE and other Edmundite Camps Ministry programs, as well as through classes with a service learning component, there is a single day each year that is devoted to employee service to Saint Michael's, and to our neighbors.
Our annual Community Service Day, held during the week right after Commencement, is a relatively new tradition at Saint Michael's during which teams of staff and faculty spend a few hours at locations on and off campus that need a helping hand. On campus, we organize photos in the library's archives, dust the Chapel, remove staples and tape from walls, clean out debris students left behind in the townhouses (true story!), and clean up at the Early Learning Center. Off campus, sites like Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, Catamount Family Center, All Breed Rescue and Winooski's St. Francis Xavier school are visited by groups of Saint Michael's employees who spend several hours applying elbow grease to their facilities.
This year, I led the team at Catamount Family Center, a family-owned property in nearby Williston that, in an increasingly suburban area, maintains more than 500 acres of trails for cross-country skiing, showshoeing, mountain biking and trail running. During our time at Catamount we raked miles of trails and talked about spring, and nature, and the importance of open spaces, and how good it felt to be making a difference to a place that means so much to so many.
Days like Community Service Day help to connect me to the heart of the Saint Michael's student experience, which is not only education but loving and caring for others. Jeff Good's story about Nate Besio '00 and his power soccer team is a powerful example of how this commitment makes a significant difference in so many lives. May we all find more ways to serve, and love, each other. +
- Caroline Crawford, Editor