Annual Excelsior Cares Week Highlights 120 Employees Making an Impact by Completing 17 Community Projects
During the 4th Annual Excelsior Cares Week, 120 Excelsior College employees completed 17 community projects in the Capital Region and beyond during April. This is a special time for the College, as employees performed more than 250 hours of volunteer service in one week, using volunteer hours provided by the College. The Albany-based event has grown in both the number of volunteers participating and the number of organizations served, starting with 7 projects in 2016 and 65 employees lending a helping hand.
The 2019 community projects included organizing, sorting, packing, cleaning, painting, grounds cleanup, seeding, planting, helping at an animal shelter, promoting fundraising events, cooking for families, and repurposing retired American Flags.
The weeklong event introduced employees to new experiences while working as a team on projects outside of the College and beyond their units. The College’s focus on volunteerism has positive effects on community engagement and employee engagement. Employees can step away from office work and learn about valuable services provided by charitable organizations that potentially could benefit someone they know.
For example, Mika Hoffman, an employee who volunteered at the Patroon Land Farm noted, “We learned that the farm has very few staff for the number of acres they work, so they really appreciate volunteers. It was good to feel we were helping to get fresh vegetables to people who need them.”
Excelsior volunteer May Boggs, who helped with Stars for Our Troops, shares, “It’s been such a pleasure and so much fun to be able to do this and show our appreciation for all current servicemembers, veterans, and first responders.”
Excelsior College also received feedback from the organizations helped. Jennifer Moskowitz, operations specialist at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, shared, “We had a nice-sized list of things to get done, but they all came in prepared to work. WOW!!! What a powerhouse of volunteers. It was nice to have so many people in the office to help us out.”
Cathy Germano volunteered with eight colleagues on grounds cleanup at Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus(RISSE) and said, “It was the most rewarding experience.” Amy O’Connell, also helping at RISSE, stated, “It was an investment of time and energy in the city where I live, and in a great organization doing essential work.”
The Excelsior Cares Volunteer Week projects included Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Veterans Miracle Center, Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, Girl Scouts of NENY in Albany, Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, a daycare, Girl Scouts of NENY in Albany, South End Children’s Café, Stars for Our Troops Inc., Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, Crohns and Colitis Foundation, and Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York.
Making impact is the goal of the week and it seems Excelsior achieved that objective. Tracie Killar, director of South End Children’s Café, shared, “What an amazing group of volunteers. Thank you so much for ALL that you did for us!”