Gandhi Day of Service at the University of Miami made a greater impact in the community with fewer participants.
Although fewer people came out on Saturday to volunteer at this year’s Gandhi Day, the initiative still managed to rally many students that had never participated in a university service day before.
Sophomore Jenna Oin, a site leader for Gandhi Day, said that she was unfamiliar with past service days.
“I didn’t know about Orientation Outreach this year, and I didn’t do Gandhi Day last year, but since becoming a part of Alpha Epsilon Delta (the Health Preprofessional Honor Society) I’ve been opened up to a lot of things,” Oin said.
During the opening ceremonies of the event, Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely reminded the volunteers of the importance of their dedication to the surrounding community.
“Miami is a city that needs a lot of help, and there are a lot of people that could use your assistance,” Whitely said.
This year, the focus of the service day was shifted to the community and maximizing the impact that hundreds of people can have in a particular area.
“Gandhi Day isn’t meant to be that life-changing experience that students have that will push them to engage in community service for the rest of their lives,” said Gandhi Day Co-Chair Joon Chung. “It’s meant to be a chance for the students to get into the community and make a difference.”
Last year’s Gandhi Day featured 40-to-50 small volunteer sites with 10-to-20 volunteers each, with a total of 1,200 volunteers. This year there were only 12 sites with 50-to-120 volunteers, with a total of 750 students helping out.
“It’s losing its specializing quality, but we wanted to try something different,” Chung said. “No matter what they do, they will still be serving the community.”
Julian Glover may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.