About 815 students from 62 campus organizations volunteered in this year’s Shake-A-Rake community cleanup, setting a new participation record for the university.
Students representing groups including athletics, club sports, fraternities and sororities, commuting students, and student government spent several hours on Saturday, Nov. 18 raking leaves at 50 homes of mostly elderly or disabled residents in the neighborhoods surrounding Hofstra. They also cleared the 1.5-acre yard of the John J. Byrne Community Center in Uniondale, as well as the grounds of the Cameron Estates Garden in Hempstead.
“Through Shake-A-Rake, we are able to show our local community members that we appreciate them by taking the time to help rake leaves and getting to know each homeowner,” said Student Government Association President Rita Cinquemani’18. “In the process, we are able to build stronger relationships and ties to the community. It also creates a platform to meet other Hofstra students who we may not interact with on a daily basis.”
The annual program aims to connect Hofstra University with those in need in the surrounding community. The program has grown every year since it first began in 2009 with 50 students volunteering at six houses. This year’s turnout of 815 bested a total of 660 students in 2016, and 410 students in 2015.
Reginal Lucas, president of the Hempstead Coordinating Council of Civics Associations, was on hand Saturday morning with other civic leaders to speak to students before they went out on their assignments. “It was wonderful to see so many students who were willing to do something good for the community,” he said. “It’s a very valuable service they are providing.”
“Our students really embrace this project and work together to accomplish it,” said Anita Ellis, director of Commuting Student Services and Community Outreach and coordinator of Shake-A-Rake. “I’m thrilled that our local civic leaders could come and see the real heart of our student body.”
See photos from Shake-A-Rake 2017: