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Welcoming Day of Service volunteers build Emory community, serve Atlanta

On Saturday, Sept. 9, 175 Emory students gathered in the Emory Student Center at 11 a.m., ready to kick off the semester by spending an afternoon in volunteer service to others.

Shortly after arriving, students were divided into teams and boarded Emory shuttle buses destined for 10 service organizations in greater Atlanta. A wide range of organizations were served, including the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, which provides free housing and accommodations for cancer patients and their caregivers, and Furkids, the Southeast’s largest cage-free, no-kill shelter for rescued cats and dogs.

The Welcoming Day of Service, Volunteer Emory’s first event of the academic year, focuses on introducing students who are new to the campus — Oxford College continuees, transfer students and Emory College’s first-year class — to the university’s long tradition of service. The event, one of many opportunities hosted by Volunteer Emory, also offers an avenue for students to explore the many communities and neighborhoods of the Atlanta area.

“I had fun coming together with everyone to help out with a great cause,” says Shizu Someya, a first-year MPH student in Rollins School of Public Health who volunteered with the Friends of Disabled Adults and Children. “It was hard work, but it felt rewarding at the end.”

Volunteer Emory is part of Civic and Community Engagement (CCE) within Campus Life. As part of its mission, CCE offers programs that are vital to metro Atlanta communities and supports members of the Emory community in developing and applying their skills to foster a kinder and more socially just world.

“The Welcoming Day of Service, a signature program for Emory and CCE, helps new and returning students see the value that Emory places on service and community engagement,” says James Roland, CCE’s senior director. “It is so inspiring to see dozens of Emory students excited to help transform the world for the better and to be transformed themselves through service to others.”

Photos by Gia Burson, Brian Pirapakaran and Kenneth Wingate Jr.

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