“Merrimack was founded by the Order of St. Augustine to provide educational opportunities to local soldiers returning home from World War II, so spending a few hours serving others is a small gesture of solidarity with our nation’s veterans,” said Father Raymond Dlugos, OSA, the college’s vice president of mission and ministry who helped establish the event. “The most important aspect of Mack Gives Back is the opportunity it affords to reflect on how much we have asked — and continue to ask — of the men and women willing to serve in the military, what it has cost them to serve us and whether or not we, as a nation and as individuals, are living in a way that is worthy of their service and sacrifice.”
At this year’s event, volunteers gathered for breakfast and a brief prayer service on campus before boarding buses to more than 40 service organizations in 11 towns and cities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
“Community service is such a big part of our school community,” said freshman Benjamin Morrill, who spent the morning cleaning up Field of Dreams in Salem, New Hampshire. “This was an easy way for everyone to come together and help, and I wanted to be part of that.”
Other organizations served include Project Home Again in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the North Reading (Mass.) Fire Department and Food for Children in Manchester, New Hampshire.