Day of Service connects JHU, community

Nearly 1,000 members of the Johns Hopkins University community fanned out across Baltimore on Saturday, Oct. 27, for the President's Day of Service, an annual volunteer event supporting the city's nonprofit organizations.

The record-breaking number of students, faculty, and staff from several Johns Hopkins campuses, including the Homewood campus and the Peabody Conservatory, signed up to volunteer at 35 different locations throughout Baltimore on a variety of projects in the categories of beautification, feeding the hungry, and working with people. (The schools of Medicine and Public Health hosted their President's Day of Service on Saturday, Oct. 6.)

The Johns Hopkins volunteers lent their helping hands to tasks that were chosen by community groups. Among the endeavors were cleaning and painting at Barclay Elementary School and Barclay Recreation Center; decorating the Remington neighborhood for a family-friendly Halloween party; preparing planting beds for trees and flowers in Reservoir Hill; and helping build an amphitheater on the grounds at The Samaritan Women shelter in southwest Baltimore.

This year, the event expanded to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, where alumni chapters in each of those cities held their own volunteer events, making the Day of Service a national effort for the first time.

"Through the good will and hard work of nearly 1,000 people [in Baltimore], our university was able to reach far into our communities and neighborhoods and make a real difference. I am grateful for their efforts," says President Ronald J. Daniels, who established the Day of Service when he took office in fall 2009.

"Community service is not just about good works," he says. "This type of service will help to shape our students' lives, readying them for a life of citizenship and preparing them for the next stages of their careers."

The President's Day of Service is organized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Social Concern and funded in Baltimore by the Johns Hopkins Parents Fund.