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September 26, 2013

Evergreen Students Gear Up for Thurston County “Day of Caring”

Day of Caring 2012 Photo

Evergreen students Kathleen Smith and Sam West sort food at the Thurston County
Day of Caring, 2012. Photo by Shauna Bittle

(Olympia, Wash.) At The Evergreen State College, orientation week means moving into dorms, getting the layout of the campus figured out, and giving to the local community, all before the official start of classes September 30.

This Friday, September 27, more than 150 Evergreen students will fan out to the Lincoln Elementary school garden, the Deschutes River Stream Team, the Thurston County Food Bank and other sites to clean, paint, harvest, pull blackberry brambles and contribute their sweat equity to their Olympia home. They will be dressed for all weather, in clothes that are ready to get dirty, to meet the needs of the larger community.

“Evergreen’s participation in the United Way “Day of Caring” is the first contact many new students have with the community,” said Ellen Shortt-Sanchez, director of Evergreen’s Center for Community Based Learning and Action. “Many students will then go on to intern with local non-profit groups, which gives them a chance to learn in the field.”

Evergreen students contribute about 12,000 hours of volunteer work annually throughout Thurston County. This will be the fourth year of Evergreen participation in the “Day of Caring,” where students will work alongside employees of state agencies, local service organizations, tribal members and church groups at some eleven sites throughout the county.