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Student Volunteers React With First Hand Accounts

Beth Hayden

Staff Writer

We all know what Hu­manics in Action Day is: a day when classes are cancelled and Springfield College ven­tures out into the community, helping our neighbors. What we don’t always realize is the impact that it actually has.

I know what you’re think­ing: I sound like your typical SC advocate. Surprisingly, this is the first year that I wholeheartedly agree with my previous statement. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in giving back to the community and agree that Humanics in Action is a great opportunity to get involved. My feelings have solely rested on my past three Humanics’ experiences.

It was always difficult for me to understand how my cleaning up a field that wasn’t very filthy to begin with or washing plastic chairs for a local elementary school could possibly make much of a dif­ference. Yet I continued to volunteer every year. Maybe I was hoping that I could make an impression on at least one person. Perhaps it was the slight pang of guilt I felt when considering whether to sign up or sleep in.

It wasn’t until my fourth and final Humanics that ev­erything clicked. This year, I, along with five friends, went to a community member’s house and helped with some yard work. We raked leaves, tidied up the garden, cut branches and completed oth­er various forms of landscap­ing. She was out there with us, helping as much as pos­sible, all the while expressing her gratitude.

It was then I realized that the task is not what’s impor­tant, but rather, the meaning of the task. The mere fact that a group of people would go to a stranger’s house to lend a hand is what speaks to the community, more so than the result of the work.

In retrospect, my previ­ous experiences might have reached more members of the community than I had origi­nally thought. What I can re­ally take away from this day is that you don’t always have to see the end result to real­ize that you made a difference. You don’t necessarily have to do something life-changing to change a life.

Beth Hayden may be reached at

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