MACON – MerServe, Mercer's student-run service leadership board for the Macon campus, will conduct the University's annual “Be a Good NeighBear” service day Saturday in partnership with local outreach organizations and neighborhood Shalom Zones.
“Be a Good NeighBear” serves as the kickoff event for a number of service opportunities offered to students through Mercer's Center for Community Engagement over the course of the academic year.
This year's event will be the largest in the University's history, with approximately 800 students, faculty, staff and other volunteers expected to participate in service projects in 20 different locations, including all 12 of Macon's Shalom Zones.
Shalom Zones bring together business, civic, governmental and religious organizations to revitalize neighborhoods. Macon is the first municipality in the United States to embrace Communities of Shalom on such a scale.
Additional partners include the Fuller Center for Housing, Habitat for Humanity, the Komen Central Georgia Race for the Cure, the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank, the Rescue Mission of Central Georgia and Washington Park.
“We can't wait to get our students out on Saturday to meet local residents and work alongside each other,” said Hannah Vann, coordinator of community engagement at Mercer. “Fostering these relationships between Mercer students and Macon folks is essential as we continue to work together to build a better Macon, and it would not be possible without the hard work and enthusiasm that our community partners show every day of the year. We are so grateful for this opportunity to work together.”
Because of the number of volunteers, this year's service projects have been divided into morning and afternoon shifts. Morning volunteers will gather on Cruz Plaza at 8 a.m. and return to campus around 12:30 p.m. Afternoon volunteers will gather on Cruz Plaza at noon and return to campus around 4:30 p.m.
Last year, some 250 volunteers completed approximately 1,000 hours of service during “Be a Good NeighBear.”
MerServe is sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement, a clearinghouse for volunteer services at Mercer. For more information, visit studentaffairs.mercer.edu/campuslife/clv.