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Inspired to Act

Campus volunteers mark 9/11 anniversary by serving some of the region’s neediest

On September 10, members of the Bridgewater State University community volunteered their time to help pack 25,000 meals for individuals and families experiencing food insecurity in Southeastern Massachusetts.

The event was part of the 9/11 National Day of Service, which encourages people to transform the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks into a day of doing good deeds and acts of kindness.

Justice fellow and political science major Meredith Beckett, ’23, was happy to volunteer.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to give back and show gratitude for the heroes of 9/11 than to spend a day serving people experiencing food insecurity on an otherwise somber day of remembrance,” Meredith said.

The event was co-sponsored by the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice (MRISJ), Center for Student Engagement, Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services, and Program Council.

“It was a great community builder and gave students a chance to get to know each other and start off on a strong foot,” said Laura Mulvey MRISJ assistant director. “We encourage students to volunteer not only to get involved and give back to their local communities, but also to build connections with their peers to gain a sense of belonging.”

It is the fourth year Bridgewater State has partnered with End Hunger New England on the 9/11 National Day of Service. The organization’s mission is to end hunger across New England.

The meals they donate consist of food items that have a long storage life and are also simple to make and don’t require additional ingredients, like the tomato basil pasta and apple cinnamon oatmeal BSU volunteers packed up on Sept. 10.

The food BSU volunteers put together were distributed to local food pantries, churches, and other organizations, including the Bridgewater Senior Center, Old Colony Y, Massasoit Community College Food Pantry, and Center Square Congregational Church.

“It’s a nice way to help some of our local community partners,” Mulvey said. “What’s also great about this is it always leads to students volunteering again. It inspires service.”

Beyond the 9/11 National Day of Service, students can find ongoing volunteer opportunities on campus, including working in the BSU permaculture garden, or the Schools on Wheels program, operated through the Old Colony Y. For more information on ways to volunteer visit the MRISJ website.

“More BSU students should find ways to get involved in service and volunteerism because it is an integral part of professional growth and development, especially as an undergrad,” Meredith said. “Service and volunteerism aren’t only about giving back. Another huge pillar is self-reflection and an invoking of compassion and understanding for others.”

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