The annual “Cougars That Care: Kean Day Of Service,” an all-day long community service event, was hosted by the Center For Leadership and Service (CLS) this past Saturday, April 21. The event included volunteering events for Adopt-A-Highway, Adopt-A-Park, Atria Senior Living, Community FoodBank, Breakfast with a Senior and Jumpstart for a Day.
Students, staff, alumni, clubs, sports teams and organizations all dedicated their time to these events not only at Kean University, but in the surrounding area. They showed how much Kean University and CLS care about helping the community and the importance of showing support to those in need.
The first event to take place was Breakfast With A Senior, which was hosted by the Physical Therapy Club. Volunteers went to Cornell Nursing Home in Union starting at 8:30 a.m. They provided the residents of the nursing home with breakfast in addition to serving it to them. Afterward, they engaged in fun activities with the residents to entertain them and brighten their day.
Volunteers also visited Atria Senior Living, another residence for the elderly in the surrounding area, located in Cranford, NJ. Starting at 12:15 p.m., participants assisted residents with leisure activities. They were able to provide the residents with a positive atmosphere for them to enjoy the activities they had planned for them.
The women’s volleyball team, along with other participants, lent their time to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside starting at 10:45 a.m. They sorted donations for the FoodBank so that those who need it can easily access the goods they need. They were responsible for sorting pasta into smaller bags, making them more easily accessible for more people.
The Jumpstart For A Day event kicked off at 10:15 a.m. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that guides college students to educate preschool students on proper literacy and language skills in low-income neighborhoods. For this event, volunteers were able to sign up to participate in different activities that were set up for the kids, which included stations such as face painting and raffles. Volunteers were responsible for assisting children with fun and educational activities and stations that will help them develop skills to better their understanding and learning.
The Adopt-A-Highway event for Cougars That Care started at 12:15 p.m. and transpired on the section of Morris Avenue that the brothers of Lambda Theta Phi adopted. With the help of the sisters from Delta Phi Epsilon, both organizations worked together to clean up the road. They picked up litter and properly disposed of it, making the area much cleaner and healthier.
Cougars also took a 10-minute drive off campus to Warinanco Park where they participated in Adopt-A-Park. Volunteers also picked up litter and restored the environment in the park similarly to the Adopt-A-Highway event.
Shannan McCarthy, a junior and sister of Delta Phi Epsilon that participated in the Adopt-A-Highway event said, “I gained a sense of understanding the environment in which I am currently living in. There is so much that goes on in our surroundings and while it continues to take care of us each day, we should be more mindful of the condition it is in and try to help it be in the best shape it possibly can be.”
Through these events the students, staff and alumni showed how much they truly care for their community which extends beyond campus. Volunteers learned the importance of helping the environment and those in need, and that donating just a few hours of time can truly make a difference.