Almost 700 students from 55 campus organizations volunteered in this year’s Shake-a-Rake community cleanup effort on Saturday, Nov. 19 – the most in the program’s seven-year history.
Students representing groups including athletics, club sports, fraternities and sororities, commuting students, and student government traveled around neighboring Uniondale and Hempstead to rake leaves at more than 50 homes of elderly or disabled neighbors. They also cleared the 1.5-acre yard of the John J. Byrne Community Center in Uniondale.
“It’s up to our generation to step up and give back,” said sophomore Daniel Frankel, a finance major from Walpole, Massachusetts and member of Phi Delta Theta. “We live in a community that has all ages, and ultimately it’s important that we get involved.”
The annual Shake-a-Rake program aims to connect Hofstra University with those in need in the surrounding community. This year’s turnout of 660 students topped last year’s strong showing of 410 volunteers. The program has grown every year since it first began in 2009 with 50 students volunteering at six houses.
“My heart is so full seeing how much our students care about their community,” said Anita Ellis, director of Commuting Student Services and Community Outreach, and coordinator of Shake-a-Rake. “They had fun and provided a great service to members of the community.”
Uniondale resident Mary-Rose Waldron has participated in the program for several years and says it’s a valuable service. “This morning Hofstra’s women’s field hockey team – almost all of them – made short work of making my front and back lawns look pristine. What a relief!” she said. “How accommodating these young women are, and how well they work together. Thanks again for a welcome and appreciated community program.”
In the winter, Ellis also helps coordinate the Snow Angels community program, in which student volunteers help shovel snow for local seniors. For more information, email her at Anita.Ellis@hofstra.edu.
Read about this year’s Shake-a-Rake in Newsday.