Over 2,000 people volunteer for Be the Change on October 4th!

On Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 4, 2008- over 2,000 vol­un­teers from around the coun­try par­tic­i­pat­ed in SAALT’s annu­al day of ser­vice, Be the Change. As the Nation­al Be the Change Coor­di­na­tor, it was excit­ing to see many indi­vid­u­als from cities and cam­pus­es around the coun­try involved in this great cause- vol­un­teers from over 40 cities and cam­pus­es par­tic­i­pat­ed nation­wide! Atlanta, Boston, Bay Area, Wash­ing­ton D.C., New York, Philadel­phia, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da, Texas A&M Uni­ver­si­ty- Col­lege Sta­tion and more joined in on this effort!

For the past 5 months, indi­vid­u­als around the coun­try vol­un­teered their time to plan and imple­ment this event in their city or cam­pus. These indi­vid­u­als are a tes­ta­ment to the change occur­ring in the coun­try and their role in Be the Change tru­ly exem­pli­fied Mahat­ma Gandhi’s prin­ci­ple of ‘be the change you wish to see in the world”. Of course, we can’t for­get the won­der­ful vol­un­teers who came out on a Sat­ur­day morn­ing because of their belief in the impor­tance of mak­ing a dif­fer­ence and chang­ing their com­mu­ni­ty.

This year, Be the Change vol­un­teers par­tic­i­pat­ed in activ­i­ties such as revi­tal­iz­ing local parks in East Brunswick, New Jer­sey; pack­ag­ing books for pris­on­ers in Wash­ing­ton, DC; restor­ing the bay in San Fran­cis­co; and work­ing with men­tal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly dis­abled chil­dren in New York and much more.

I would like to chal­lenge every­one to let Be the Change be the first step. I chal­lenge you to let this not be a day of ser­vice but a life of service- whether it be at your cam­pus or uni­ver­si­ty, in your work­place, with your friends or fam­i­ly, by vol­un­teer­ing or by cre­at­ing your own orga­ni­za­tion- I chal­lenge all of you to car­ry on this prin­ci­ple of being the change wher­ev­er you go and in what­ev­er you do. I hope to see you ‘being the change’ for many years to come!

-Ramya Pun­noose, Nation­al Coor­di­na­tor of Be the Change ’08

Are you ready to “Be the Change” on Saturday, October 4th?

SAALT is gear­ing up for Be the Change 2008 and we want­ed to thank all of our plan­ning teams and local vol­un­teers who have worked so hard over the past few months to plan for this nation­al day of ser­vice! Be the Change, for­mer­ly known as the Nation­al Gand­hi Day of Ser­vice, is coor­di­nat­ed by SAALT along with vol­un­teers around the coun­try. This year, we are excit­ed that the event will be held in over 60 cities and cam­pus­es! You can find a full list of the cities and cam­pus­es here.This year’s theme for Be the Change is “Sol­i­dar­i­ty in Ser­vice” and we want to encour­age all of our vol­un­teers to keep this theme in mind when they are vol­un­teer­ing this year. This theme reflects the way com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice can build coali­tions, strength­en rela­tion­ships, and bring about sol­i­dar­i­ty among peo­ple of dif­fer­ent back­grounds.

Exam­ples of ser­vice sites this year include:

Books to Pris­ons: Vol­un­teers will be read­ing let­ters from pris­on­ers, select­ing books that match their request, and pack­ag­ing the books to send the pris­on­ers (Wash­ing­ton DC)

Hands on Atlanta Vol­un­teers will be build­ing wheel­chair ramps, men­tor­ing indi­vid­u­als in com­put­er skills, and more. (Atlanta)

Ronald McDon­ald House: Vol­un­teers will pre­pare a meal for, and serve fam­i­lies whose chil­dren are seri­ous­ly ill and receiv­ing treat­ment at near­by hos­pi­tals. (San Fran­cis­co)

Kids Enjoy Exer­cise Now (KEEN): Vol­un­teers will be con­duct­ing recre­ation­al activ­i­ties for kids in the pro­gram who have are men­tal­ly or phys­i­cal­ly chal­lenged. (New York City)

Boston Health­care for the Home­less: Vol­un­teers will be

 

work­ing with patients by lead­ing activ­i­ties like games, crafts, enter­tain­ment, etc.These are just a mere few ser­vice sites that Be the Change vol­un­teers will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in this year. Stay tuned for an update about how Be the Change went and how you can con­tin­ue your com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment.