Mack Gives Back
In honor of Veteran’s Day, Merrimack College students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni joined in a collaborative effort in a day of service dedicated to veterans, titled Mack Gives Back Day. This day is meant to honor those who served by serving others.
Mack Gives Back Day served 12 different sites with about 600 participants. Every participant was greeted with breakfast, donated by Sodexo, before they began. Many others are continuing to volunteer over the next two weeks, allowing those who were unable to serve on Saturday to participate. Some of the tasks included raking, cleaning, sorting, painting, and building medical suites. All of this was done while building relationships with each other and the people they were serving.
The service sites included The Wish Project in Lowell, IMEC in North Andover, the Lawrence Common, Lawrence Public Schools, St. Mary’s Parish in Lawrence, Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Methuen, Elmwood Cemetery, St. Mary/Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Bellevue Cemetery, the Lawrence Airport, Greater Lawrence YMCA, EPIC in Lynn, and the Lawrence Fire Department.
Ana Cardenas of Saint Mary’s Parish commented on the fantastic effort of Mack Gives Back Day, saying it was, “Refreshing to see how willing everyone was to help” she continued by explaining that some of the work Merrimack did was not easy and she was very appreciative of all the hard work.
Preston Croteau, Coordinator of Community Standards at Merrimack said, “This was my first year participating in Mack Gives Back, and it was an amazing experience. I accompanied approximately 150 first-year students to IMEC, an organization that donates used medical supplies to those in need across the world. It was great getting to work as a community on such an important initiative, and I’m very thankful to have been just a small part of helping those in need.”
Many students saw the true value of their hard work, even when they were not directly working with the people. Matthew Hanson, a junior at Merrimack College, painted at a public school in Lawrence. He noted, “While I may not have gotten to speak to any of the students there or maybe throw a football around with them, I helped make their school look a lot brighter and newer. If I can make them feel more welcome in their learning space, then I made a difference for them.”
Mack Gives Back Day was also an opportunity for Merrimack alumni to return to Merrimack to make a difference. Melissa Garabedian, a member of the class of 2012, added, “Mack Gives Back is a great way for both the current students and alumni to come together and give back to the surrounding community. Community service was one of my favorite parts of the Merrimack experience as a student, so being able to continue as an alumni is a wonderful opportunity.”
The success of Mack Gives Back Day is representative of the strong community and service values that are so prevalent among Merrimack community members. Mack Gives Back Day was a wonderful opportunity to serve the neighboring areas in honor of our veterans and bring together the entire community.