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#1Day4Dallas a success in inaugural year

Engage Dallas hosted its inaugural Residential Commons Fall Day of Service, #1Day4Dallas, on Saturday, October 16th.  

Each of the 11 Residential Commons were represented with over 100 participants serving at 8 different locations around South and West Dallas: Rebuilding Together North TexasNorth Texas Food BankHeart HouseRestorative FarmsSMU College Access Programs, The Senior Source, and Voice of Hope. Collectively, participants contributed over 500 hours of service and engagement during #1Day4Dallas. 

Kirk Thomas, who serves as the Student Director of Ware Commons, was a leader in the planning for #1Day4Dallas. He described the experience of seeing the event come together as a thrill. 

“Seeing 1Day4Dallas come together for the first time in Engage Dallas’s history after weeks of planning was electric, like the feeling of weightlessness on a rollercoaster,” said Thomas. “Not only was it fulfilling being a part of meaningful community service work to help our neighbors in Dallas, but having that feeling amplified knowing that all across Dallas, SMU students were doing projects anywhere from home repairs to planting fresh vegetables in a community garden. Personally, I care because in doing these projects, we are able to create a sustainable cycle of people helping people. The more communities and neighbors we support and build up, the better off they will be not just today, but for tomorrow also.” 

Kirk and his fellow Ware students served with Rebuilding Together North Texas for #1Day4Dallas, where they helped to remove carpet and place wood flooring in the home of a West Dallas resident.

A student participant shared, “It was a wonderful experience to finally volunteer and directly serve another community.” The impact service had on students was tangible throughout the day. Engage Dallas is excited to continue to serve our Dallas neighbors. Students who remained on campus served our community through The Not So Big Event, hosted by SMU Big Event in partnership with Tango Tab.

Thank you to all students, faculty, staff members, and Community Partners for engaging with us through #1Day4Dallas. Please visit our website, www.smu.edu/studentaffairs/engagedallas, to learn more. Contact us at engagedallas@smu.edu. Follow us on Instagram at @smu.engage.dallas. 

 

Engage Dallas is a place-based community engagement initiative via SMU’s Residential Commons to address community needs focusing on South and West Dallas. The initiative is a long-term, university-wide commitment led by students to partner with local residents, organizations, and other leaders to positively impact the community. There is equal emphasis on campus and community impact stemming from the initiative. 

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Student Directors give their take on Engage Dallas

Launching a new initiative in the middle of a pandemic is no small task, but at SMU, our students were ready for the challenge! The SMU student directors created a video that briefly shared their experiences with Engage Dallas, why they decided to join the initiative, ways that they have been able to continue “Engaging Dallas” despite current restrictions, and how other SMU students can get involved.

Check out their video below: