On October 21st, Engage Dallas hosted their third annual #1Day4Dallas fall day of service. 151 volunteers from all 11 Residential Commons spent their morning serving with 13 of our Community Partners in West and South Dallas.
The day started off with breakfast tacos from Bonton Farms, an urban farm located in South Dallas. The Engage Dallas Student Directors and SMUSH volunteers helped check in the participants, who then heard some inspiring words from SMU’s Associate Director for High-Impact Practices, Audryanna Reed.
Our volunteers were shuttled to our thirteen sites throughout the South and West Dallas communities. They served with After8toEducate, Austin Street Center, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, Dallas Furniture Bank, Empowering the Masses, Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, Greenspace Dallas, Jubilee Park Community Center, Legacy Cares, Our Saviour Community Gardens, Sunny South Community Garden, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, and Voice of Hope.
Staff and faculty volunteered alongside our students, participating in donation sorting, window cleaning, gardening, furniture building, and many other tasks. Volunteers were able to learn about the Community Partner they were working with, gaining a better understanding of the challenges the community is facing and the ways these organizations are supporting and enriching their neighborhoods.
Student feedback included excitement about working together with their peers, learning about the Community Partners, and helping the organizations in tangible ways. They enjoyed interacting with the employees at each site as well as the individuals who were receiving assistance. It was also an opportunity for students to learn more about the history of South and West Dallas and how that has impacted those who live there.
One student shared that “seeing people from different aspects of life (SMU or community volunteers) come together to achieve a common goal was very impactful. It’s nice to see that we can set aside our differences to work together to achieve more.”
Thank you to all who served with Engage Dallas and made the third annual #1Day4Dallas a success! We invite participants to check back with their Commons to see the upcoming monthly events and continue to serve.
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