More than 300 Harvard alumni and students from 13 cities around the world will give back to their communities tomorrow as part of Harvard's first Global Day of Service. Sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Alumni Association, the Global Day of Service will work through regional Harvard clubs to match volunteers with local service organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Teen Empowerment, Goodwill, and Hands on Tokyo.
"This is a great opportunity for the Ed School to align with President Drew Faust's vision and emphasis on public service at the university," said HGSE Director of Alumni Relations Beverley Witten. "This is an occasion to leverage the university-wide networks — not only at HGSE — but to engage alumni in significant ways and work together. I think volunteer work will add a new dimension to how we think about alumni networking and making meaningful connections."
HGSE Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Kristen DeAmicis, Ed.M.'05, cited President Barack Obama's vision for public service and call to action as part of the inspiration behind the Global Day of Service. "This is something that reaches across the boundaries of schools, of borders," DeAmicis said. "Public service resonates not only with our local alumni but also our international colleagues."
Harvard Clubs from around the globe including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Argentina, Japan, and Hong Kong have signed on to participate in the Global Day of Service. Harvard alumni who are not part of a structured service opportunity are encouraged to do public service on May 9 as well.
Following the day of service, organizers hope to capture volunteers' experiences via photographs and stories through the social networking site, Facebook. "The social media will hopefully provide people an opportunity to share their photos and reflections so that they can see themselves as part of a global, as well as local, Harvard community," DeAmicis said, noting that plans are already underway to host another Global Day of Service in the upcoming academic year.