About 40 nonprofit organizations in the Delaware Valley and beyond will soon be benefitting from one of Williamson’s core values being taken to heart in a big way — Service!
From Tuesday, March 15 until Friday, March 18, about 250 students and almost 50 faculty and staff will be going out into the public as part of Williamson’s Service Week, donating full days to lending a hand to organizations that can use some help.
Greg Lindemuth, executive vice president and COO, estimates that with about 300 workers putting in four full work days, Williamson will be providing about 7,000 hours of service to the community.
Those interested can follow the progress of Service Week on social media by following the hashtag #WilliamsonServes, or by tuning into Williamson’s social media channels:
- https://twitter.com/williamsontrade (@williamsontrade)
- https://www.instagram.com/williamsontrades/ (@williamsontrades)
Locally, such nonprofits as Roosevelt School, Tyler Arboretum, Elwyn Institute, Hedgerow Theatre, and Ridley Creek State Park will be receiving help. Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia, the Never Forget Foundation in West Chester, Good Works in Coatesville, and Middletown High School in Middletown, Delaware, are some organizations on the list a little farther away.
Also included in Service Week, students under the supervision of Mark Specht 7W7, chaplain, are heading to Peru, and students under the leadership of Jason Merillat, dean of admissions, are going to help Sharing with Appalachian People in Kentucky. Another group of students will be participating in a Leadership Trip under the supervision of Tom Moffitt, dean of students, and Harold Burnett, director of student engagement and leadership development.
President Michael Rounds said, “We are excited about having so many Williamson people devoting an entire week to our core value of service. This is the first time we are doing this and I am confident this will be a week we will all remember for a long time to come and that it will strengthen our relationship with the local community. Not only will Williamson be helping many charitable organizations, but it will be instilling in its students the importance of giving back to their community, a trait that, hopefully, they will carry with them the rest of their lives.”
Lindemuth said, “Service Week is one of the largest projects Williamson has taken on in its entire history. It is providing us with the opportunity to make an extraordinary impact in our communities as well as the lives of our students, faculty, and staff. We are going to approach this week of service with Williamson vim and vigor and a positive attitude. We not only hope this week helps our students develop a better understanding of service, but that they develop a camaraderie among their fellow students and faculty and staff as they work side-by-side for a good cause, and that they spread the word that Williamson College of the Trades is a school that cares about its neighbors as it provides a free, three-year education to deserving young men.”
Rounds added that the school’s shops regularly schedule about 20 service projects throughout the year that focus on their specific trade skills, but Service Week is focusing on less technical projects that staff, faculty, alumni, and students can work on together.
“One of our objectives is to have students work on these projects with people other than their shop classmates. An ideal crew will consist of students from different shops and class years and will include some staff and faculty and several alumni all working on a project they are interested in and excited about supporting.”
Lindemuth said many of the nonprofits are providing such things as transportation, supervision, and lunch.
After working a full day, students will be permitted to return to their homes for the evening and Friday dismissal will be from their work sites. The school will basically be closed down for the week.
Attempts were made to keep the nonprofit organizations receiving help close to Williamson to minimize time spent in transportation, but the projects that are farther away are being supported by students who live close by those sites.
Organizations that are receiving help were suggested by students, faculty, staff, members of the Board of Trustees, and alumni. A faculty or staff member was assigned to head up the team at each site and to make arrangements with a representative of the organization.
Organizing Service Week was a large undertaking that took months to complete. The Service Week committee was led by Lindemuth, Tom Wisneski, vice president of research and assessment, and Doug Turrell, vice president of plans and operations.
At the conclusion of Service Week it is hoped that there will be a feeling of pride in the work accomplished, a sense of satisfaction from having helped those who need help, and the wonderful feeling of relationships strengthened and developed, both for individuals and for Williamson. This truly is a great opportunity for Williamson to make an extraordinary impact in the community.