Yale Day of Service has thrived in 2022, buoyed by the return of in-person service opportunities and the annual celebration of service that was held this year on May 7. Here is a snapshot of service, as of the start of June – with more to come!:

  • More than 150 service projects
  • Approximately 1,000 volunteers worldwide
  • Projects held in 32 U.S. states
  • 10 virtual service projects
  • 9 international service projects, including first-time projects in Brazil, Egypt, Greece, and Kuwait, with projects in Argentina and the Netherlands still to come

And the numbers tell only part of the story. Each project has a specific impact on an individual community, on a person’s life, and for the betterment – short term and long term – of its given area.

Yale Day of Service Garry Trudeau illustration But, as always, our volunteers can tell that tale best. Here is a look at what they have had to say:

“Day of Service is such a wonderful concept. We focus on May, but any day is a good day to do service.” – Yale Day of Service co-chair Karen Green ’78

“There is something about us getting together with fellow Yalies that is better than doing it on our own. And it’s not just the alumni. It’s the friends and families that are involved.” – Yale Day of Service co-chair Rob Greenly ’83 MBA

“Yale Day of Service enables thousands of volunteers across the globe to connect with community organizations in meaningful ways. Our hope is that YDOS is a springboard to ongoing community engagement year-round.” – Alison Gardy ’88, as profiled in her first-person story on her experience with El Nido de Esperanza in Washington Heights, New York

“YSNAA is excited to donate blood pressure cuffs to at-risk pregnant moms at the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center Federally Qualified Health Center this year, using funds that were collected over the past two years. I like to call it a ‘Culmination of Newborns in Need During the Covid-19 Pandemic,’ and I believe these blood pressure cuffs will make an impact on maternal and newborn health.” – Yale School of Nursing Alumni Association President Christa Hartch ’02 MSN, via the School of Nursing story on its Day of Service project, Newborns in Need

“Our Yale Day of Service project was a big success. It was gratifying for us to see the completion of a sturdy, nice-looking, handicap ramp. We had 10 in our group plus two very experienced builders to direct us. The house’s residents represent three generations of a family. The access ramp we built is for their 4-year-old grandson who will now be able to easily enter and exit their house. Our project was enjoyable and worthwhile.” – Ping Liang ’81 MPPM, Grand Rapids, Michigan 

“Seven hearty volunteers pitched in to help clean up the main road and beach front of Agios Nikolaos, Messinia, the hometown for all of us. As we went, bikers gave us smiles and thumbs up. And most rewarding, the driver of the local trash pick-up truck stopped, got out and gave us the Greek heart thump, a sign of gratitude.” – Mic Fleming ’75, Greece

“It was a lot of fun and one of the most important parts of the day to me was the introduction by the [Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency] staff describing the refugee process: four years in a camp to be vetted, then a country not of their choice taking them, one suitcase, three months of help in the U.S., then on their own unless a charity steps in. … After learning all this, various volunteers stepped up to do more during the year and get their older children involved. Then the most beautiful part to me was the messages in the cards that the children wrote: ‘We are glad that you are here’ and ‘Love and support from us to you.’” – Connie Spencer ’82 MArch, Charlotte, North Carolina

On Saturday, May 14, Yale CLE was finally able to join in the Yale Day of Service partnership it had hoped to fulfill two years ago with the Red Cross of Northern Ohio, before the pandemic struck, teaming up on the Red Cross’ annual Sound the Alarm efforts in partnership with the Cleveland Division of Fire. We joined a large, enthusiastic team of volunteers to install smoke alarms in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood, one of the at-risk neighborhoods identified by Cleveland Fire this year. Its unofficial motto is, ‘We saved lives today,’ and by the end of the day, we all felt we had.” – Betsy Sullivan ’74, Cleveland, Ohio

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