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The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Community Cares Reaches Campus and Beyond

This+years+Community+Cares+Week+was+the+third+of+its+tradition+on+Marshalls+campus.
Baylee Parsons
This year’s Community Cares Week was the third of its tradition on Marshall’s campus.

The influx of volunteers who show out for Marshall’s Community Cares Week is caused by a general devotion to the university, said the senior vice president for operations following this year’s event. 

“I think people love Marshall,” Brandi-Jacobs Jones said. “When you ask anyone what makes Marshall special, people talk about that it’s a family.”

“Every family has a home base, and this is our home base, so we want to make sure our home is clean and shiny and represents the absolute best of who we are,” she said.

Marshall’s third annual Community Cares Week, which took place May 14-17, brought 1,088 volunteers to Huntington who provided 3,415 service hours – a 55% growth from last year. 

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Volunteers primarily performed landscaping tasks around the university’s main campus, including carrying and placing 103 tons, or 206,000 pounds, of stone and landscape rock, Jacobs-Jones said.

“It’s a week of intense work, but it’s a lot of fun,” Jacobs-Jones said. “People really do smile and have a good time as they’re doing it.”

Volunteers ranged from campus employees to alumni to children, with May 14 marking the event’s kid-friendly day. 

“Something we noticed last year was that folks really liked bringing their children with them,” Jacobs-Jones said.

This year, children, alongside Marshall President Brad D. Smith and First Lady Smith, removed winter plants from the flower beds and replaced them with 505 summer flowers.

Mother-daughter duo Katie and Cailyn Counts spent the week painting the walls of Buskirk Hall together.

“It was a cool environment where everybody was just excited to do something and to help out,” Katie said. 

Although this was the pair’s first year participating, Katie said they would “definitely” return next year, especially with Cailyn being a potential daughter of the Herd in the future.

Tasks did not just take place on the Huntington campus, though, as the South Charleston and the Mid-Ohio Valley Center campuses, along with 21 alumni chapters, took advantage of the time as well.

Provost Avi Mukherjee, for instance, worked with the university’s alumni chapter in Shanghai during his visit to China, Jacobs-Jones said, and the Annapolis, Maryland, chapter prepared their community pool for its summer opening.

Jacobs-Jones said the Community Cares Committee, made up of representatives from different departments around campus, meets after the event each year to discuss how they can improve in the event in the coming year.

“It’s just this continual improvement process that we embark on to make it the best experience for the campus and our volunteers,” Jacobs-Jones said.

Volunteers beautified campus by working together. (Courtesy of Ryan Fischer)

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