Caring for Community

By Michelle Valigursky

Group at volunteer project

sorting it out: School of Nursing alumni, students, faculty, staff, and families help MedShare in Decatur sort and package surplus medical supplies.

Courtesy the EAA

Books, toiletries, lip balm, sunscreen, activity books, and stuffed animals were just of the few essential items collected for needy children during last year’s Oxford College Emory Cares International Service Day project. Led by Chris Arrendale 99OX 01C and Amanda Arrendale, the project has engaged hundreds of volunteers.

“Giving back to the community is important, and the event is so much fun,” Arrendale says.

Each year, gathering rows of shoe boxes, the volunteers select donated items to fill the decorated shoe boxes for Newton County foster children and teenagers. In 2012, “we put together 135 shoe boxes full of items for the Newton County Division of Family and Children Services Center (DFACS),” Arrendale said, which were then given to children at the Newton County DFACS holiday party. The Arrendales say that Emory Cares makes them “happy to bring holiday joy to these kids.”

Anyone can sign up to take part in an Emory Cares International Service Day project. “The process is simple. Visit www.alumni.emory.edu/emorycares and register to participate in a project that inspires you,” says Venus Miller, program coordinator for Emory Cares. “Every year, Emory Cares and Emory Cares Everywhere projects continue to grow.”

Now in its eleventh year, Emory Cares is “the best kind of tradition to celebrate—one that’s fun, fulfilling, and ultimately, good for our communities,” says Miller. On Saturday, November 9, projects will take place worldwide. “From home repair for indigent families to meal preparation for shut-ins, the service projects our alumni volunteers initiate touch thousands of lives.”

Since its inception, Emory Cares has worked in collaboration with Volunteer Emory to serve 118 organizations in thirty-five cities and five countries around the world.

With more than nine thousand volunteers already lending their hearts and time to worthy projects, Miller says, “Emory Cares International Service Day will continue to shine as an exemplary model for Emory spirit.”

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