Saint Martin’s community to participate in largest, single day of volunteerism in WA

Students and staff members at Saint Martin’s University will join forces with scores of other volunteer teams on Friday, September 27 for United Way’s 21st Annual Community to Community - Day of Caring service projects that will be occurring throughout Washington.

Food in a basket This year, 48 representatives of the University will donate their time harvesting, weeding and expanding the community vegetable garden at Komachin Middle School in Lacey. The gardens are among a network of community gardens where fresh produce is grown and donated to the Thurston County Food Bank. The Food Bank considers the provision of more fresh vegetables to its clients a major part of its mission to eliminate hunger in the county. The food bank received approximately 295,000 pounds of fresh local produce from donors in 2010.

The Saint Martin’s community will be working during the Day of Caring event in partnership with students and staff at Evergreen State College as part of Evergreen’s efforts to promote “Food Justice.” Food Justice includes the goals of healthy, affordable food for all, grown sustainably, and providing fair wages for food and farm workers.

“This is a great way to help our community and to be part of the efforts of United Way and the Thurston County Food Bank. We will be working rain or shine,” says Susan Leyster, director of Service Immersion Programs at Saint Martin’s. “Day of Caring is a great way to connect our students, especially, with opportunities to expand their world. Events like this help to put a face on poverty, something that many of our students only read about.”

Saint Martin’s staff and students will be tending the 18 raised garden beds that make up the Komachin community garden in two shifts, which will take place at 9 a.m. – noon and noon – 3 p.m.

The largest, single day of volunteerism in Washington, Day of Caring in Thurston County this year is expecting 765 individuals from workplaces, church groups, neighborhood associations, and service clubs to volunteer in 40 projects within the county borders. Each project will benefit non-profit organizations and government agencies seeking additional help.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.

For additional information:

Susan Leyster
Director of Service Immersion Programs
360-438-4581; sleyster@stmartin.edu

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager
360-412-6126; MDwyer@stmartin.edu