By Jennifer Lloyd
One of incoming students’ first activities at St. Mary’s University is to join about 800 St. Mary’s community members — students, fac- ulty, staff and alumni — to volunteer across San Anto- nio. The biannual service event called Continuing the Heritage took place last Sat- urday, Aug. 24.
The service event brings together the University com- munity to volunteer for proj- ects, such as cleaning up graffiti; improving nonprofit facilities through painting, yard work and office clean- up; sorting and organizing donations for various non- profits; and working and spending time with children. Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott, honorary chair of the 2019 Governor’s Vol- unteer Awards, and On- eStar Foundation announced this month the 10 recipients of the 36th annual Gover- nor’s Volunteer Awards. St. Mary’s University garnered the Higher Education Com- munity Impact Award at the University level. This award honors the exemplary service of individuals, groups and organizations that have made a significant and measurable contribution to their com- munities through service and volunteering.
This follows recognition from Catholic Charities of San Antonio earlier this year, for which St. Mary’s Univer- sity earned the organization’s Partner School Volunteer Recognition Award. In 2010, the University won the U.S. President’s Higher Educa- tion Community Service Honor Roll’s top-ranking Presidential Award.
Volunteers gathered on the Flex Field at The Park at St. Mary’s at 7:30 a.m. for an opening ceremony, which featured breakfast and prayer, before beginning their morning of service. From 9 a.m. to noon, they served the following:
• Catholic Charities of San Antonio, at the Guadalupe Commu- nity Center, St. Ste- phen’s, St. PJ’s Chil- dren’s Home and Seton Home; volunteers will clean up the food pan- try, clothes closet and the community garden, sort donations and help beautify the campuses.
• No Graffiti SA, at several locations, vol- unteers will split into smaller teams to pull off stickers and paint over graffiti on dumpsters, retaining walls, etc.
• Roy Maas Youth Al- ternatives, at various sites in San Antonio and Boerne, more than 140 volunteers will as- sist in multiple capaci- ties — from painting the Family Counseling Center and the gymna- sium to sorting items at the Thrift Store.
• The Dream Center, at 2903 W. Salinas St., about 50 volunteers will help hand out food and clothing, paint and help with yard work.
• Haven for Hope, at
1 Haven for Hope Way, volunteers will assist with cleaning and maintenance ef- forts at the Courtyard and Transformational Campus.
• Family Services Asso- ciation, at 3014 Rivas St., volunteers will as- sist with painting and play with children at the center.
The Office of Civic Engagement is now the Office of …
Community Engagement at St. Mary’s University!
The office has a new name with the same purpose: to build relationships through communication, action and education in our everyday lives with a continued focus on the common good.
WHY THE NAME CHANGE?
Community engagement is a social level of engagement (collectively building ongoing relationships for positive societal outcomes). Our office seeks to cultivate long-lasting change within communities, while offering students oppor- tunities to engage in faith-based reflection. The new name better reflects the broad array of the work of this office and the initiatives we undertake while maintaining a focus on the heart of our mission: maintaining and strengthening the
relationships in our community.
Community Engagement Office St. Mary’s University