October 31, 2011

Pitch in for Emory Cares International Service Day Nov. 12

Through Emory Cares, alumni, students, staff, faculty, parents, and friends gather to give back to their local communities.

To encourage coworkers and friends to participate in an upcoming Emory Cares service project at the Oakhurst Cooperative Preschool, Christie Kuropatwa emails and posts via her personal LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.

"I have a need to give back to the community and love that Emory does as well. I'm grateful to work for an organization that values community and see Emory Cares as a wonderful opportunity to blend these two worlds," says Kuropatwa, program coordinator for staff development at Emory School of Medicine. 

Alumni, faculty, staff and students around the world will join Kuropatwa for the Emory Alumni Association's (EAA) ninth annual Emory Cares International Service Day on Saturday, Nov. 12.

With registrations pouring in from around the world, this year many faculty and staff members, like Kuropatwa, have stepped up to lead Emory Cares projects, says Kate Gregory '09C, regional volunteer programs coordinator at the EAA.

"In the past, all projects have been led by alumni and students, but this year, I received several inquiries from staff members who were interested in being project coordinators," Gregory says. "Faculty and staff are an essential part of the Emory community, and I'm excited to have them take leadership roles in planning Emory Cares projects."

Started in 2003 by former Emory Alumni Board President Renelda Mack '83C in conjunction with Volunteer Emory, Emory Cares continues to grow.

"There's always excitement around Emory Cares. This year, I started to receive calls and emails about projects in August," Gregory says. "A project in New York filled up in a day and a half."

There are nearly 75 projects planned, with 40  in the Atlanta area alone. Projects will take place in the morning and afternoon, in which the entire Emory community is invited to participate. For a full list of Atlanta community projects and to sign up, visit the EAA's Emory Cares registration page.

Several community projects are new to Atlanta this year, where Emory Cares volunteers will:

• Preserve one of Atlanta's architectural treasures by helping with maintenance at the historical Butler Street Baptist Church;

• Create a community playground and outdoor space at Oakhurst Cooperative Preschool; or

• Paint houses for low-income seniors and disabled homeowners with HouseProud Atlanta.

Volunteer Emory plays a key role in the annual event, from coordinating the majority of Atlanta projects, to the opening ceremony and transportation to the projects. This year Volunteer Emory is coordinating nearly 1,000 of the volunteer opportunities.

Returning for the second year in a row, the EAA's Emory Cares Everywhere program has gained momentum. This program allows alumni who live outside of chapter cities to plan their own service projects during November. In return they receive an Emory Cares T-shirt.

"The most exciting thing is seeing alumni sign up for projects in cities where an alumni chapter doesn't exist," Gregory says.

As a first-year project coordinator, Kuropatwa looks forward to working alongside fellow employees and others on a project that is meaningful and impacts the Emory community.

For more on Emory Cares International Service Day and a full list of projects, visit

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