From a neighborhood beautification project to curriculum development in Uganda, the second annual Global Day of Service on August 30 brought together nearly 1,400 students and alumni who worked with 71 service opportunities.
World Day of Service has evolved significantly over the past two years, said Travis Lovett, Associate Dean for Civic Engagement and Service. “We had to completely reinvent the program last year due to the pandemic,” he explained.
What was a traditional service event for freshman orientation turned into a large-scale international day of service that gave volunteers the opportunity to apply their skills in everything from graphic design to cause marketing. and even translation services.
Last year’s goal was to connect students to the Harvard community, wherever they are physically located in the world. To do this, Lovett and his team reached out to the Harvard Alumni Network and found meaningful virtual volunteer opportunities around the themes of curriculum development, voter registration, and census awareness.
“What we found was that the types of service projects we offered were able to engage students technically and allowed them to connect at a deeper level to some of the systemic issues of the company, ”Lovett said.
Building on the success of last year’s program, alumni this year came up with suggestions for an even wider range of volunteer projects. At the same time, with the reopening of the campus, Lovett wanted to create practical and social opportunities during the day. All of this year’s virtual projects had a dedicated classroom space to work in so team members could collaborate and socialize, and 29 service projects took place in person in Cambridge and Boston.