Trojans from Idaho to South Africa rolled up their sleeves to volunteer for local community service projects, marking the USC Alumni Association’s first USC Alumni Day of SCervice on March 24.
Held in conjunction with the spring USC Friends and Neighbors Day and sponsored by the Science Channel, the event was the inspiration of 2011-12 USC Alumni Association Board of Governors president Lisa Barkett ’81, who wanted to “create an opportunity for alumni to give back to their local communities.”
Nearly 60 alumni organizations participated in the program, which engaged more than 1,500 alumni and friends in 54 community service projects across 18 states and nine nations.
Projects ranged from sorting and packaging food at food banks in California, Illinois and Missouri to serving the homeless at a soup kitchen in Pittsburgh; cleaning up at a school in Seattle and a park in Houston; and brightening the day for residents of a retirement home in Shanghai.
Participants were encouraged to share their stories on a website established for the event (alumni.usc.edu/scervice).
“An integral part of our mission is building a culture of philanthropy among the Trojan Family,” said USC Alumni Association CEO Scott M. Mory. “The USC Alumni Day of SCervice reminds us of our alumni’s long and distinguished history of giving back, both to USC and their local communities and neighborhoods.”
Mory’s sentiments were echoed by USC Alumni Club of Paris president Leslie Nelson Cressy ’82, who said: “The Trojan Spirit was alive in Paris. We served a hot, five-course meal to more than 50 homeless men and women. We also had some interesting conversations, and our presence and fellowship brought joy to these less fortunate Parisians.”
USC Alumni Club of New Mexico member Katie Kim ’09 said: “The best part of my SCervice Day was knowing that thousands of other USC alumni across the country and beyond were giving back to the community. What an awesome testament to the values of the Trojan Family.”
James Lewis ’97, who, along with Jennifer Buckner ’81, co-chaired the Alumni Association Board of Governors Philanthropy Committee that oversaw the event. Lewis said “being part of this was one of the best things I have done in my six years on the board.”
Given the success of the event, plans are in the works for next year’s USC Alumni Day of SCervice on March 23.
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