A trademark of William and Mary students is their dedication to any activity or commitment which they are involved. Helping others through community service and volunteer work has become an important aspect of campus activities and popular trend among students. With numerous domestic and international service trips, service fraternities, philanthropies, and volunteer organizations, it is no wonder that W&M has been consumed by the importance of service.
I myself am a brother in Alpha Phi Omega, one of the service fraternities on campus and also one of W&M’s largest student organizations. With over 300 members and thousands of service hours, APO shows the big role that service projects play in campus life. This past weekend, I volunteered at Kids’ Art Day, which provided fun arts and crafts for some of the kids of the Williamsburg community. I was in charge of the collage table, an activity which luckily didn’t take a whole lot of artistic ability. Even though art isn’t right up my alley, I love working with children and participate in a lot of the service projects geared toward helping kids. Last semester, I was a tutor at a local elementary school in Williamsburg. There are many tutoring organizations at W&M, so if that’s something that interests you, there are definitely plenty of ways to get involved.
Another one of my favorite service projects experience was going with my service fraternity to help beautify Petersburg for “Make a Difference Day”. We all loaded up in a caravan of cars to Petersburg, about 40 minutes away from campus, to help clean up a run down city. On the trip, we helped pick up trash along the highway, aid in recycling, and add paint to rundown walls. After a day of hard work, we went into downtown Petersburg and ate at one of the local restaurants in order to help boost the economy in the town. My friends and I settled on a sushi restaurant and had some of the best sushi I had ever had! Who knew you could find good sushi in the middle of Virginia? And what’s great about W&M is that there are constantly more service projects and ways to get involved in the community. Whether it’s working with the environment, children, homeless, students are helping out in many ways.
– David Mendler ’11