Throughout this spring semester Keene has experienced some hard news to shake—from numerous assaults and attacks to exploding plastic bottles all over the city. nd of course the effects of the Newtown shooting and the Boston Marathon bombings made their way into the hearts of students. But even among these tests of strength Keene State College students still remembered how they can help others. Instead of getting upset or resentful, students still remembered that there are students among us who are battling cancer. There are students among us who are hungry and many community members experience hunger. And we all know how dirty this city can get sometimes from litter, and the Equinox is proud to say that students recently are giving back to the community in a multitude of ways.
In KSC’s annual Relay for Life there were 32 teams and 364 participants who raised a total of $20,801 for the American Cancer Society. One student alone raised $981. This is a huge accomplishment! Especially when Relay’s leader Becca Lazinsk said the group is mostly her senior friends who joined with her during freshman year. But Lazinsk was pleased to say the group has gained many underclassmen participants and she feels future Relays are in good hands. It’s one thing to host an event and be successful, but the other struggle is gaining the support and keeping it alive.
Remember an editorial about all the litter that comes from students partying? Well thanks to Allison Riley’s perseverance, KSC is starting a program called Adopt a Street to encourage KSC organizations, teams and students to clean up assigned streets in town and keep them clean all year. So far the volunteer program has 12 on-campus organizations already participating in the clean up, and there will be multiple pick-up days where students will go out in groups and take care of their street. The even more exciting part is that students have voiced their enthusiasm for this service and want to see it grow in participants.
Another very helpful community service endeavor is the Nothing in a Can program. According to the organization’s website, nothing.org, the organization is active in New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio and Rhode Island and accepts donations of $5 to help end local hunger, and as a reminder of all those who suffer, donators will receive an empty can to represent all those who will not be able to eat that day. Kappa Beta Gamma is one KSC group that has started to show support for this program by having a Can fundraiser for two days in the student center. Instead of just letting people know where they can help donate locally, students brought the program to campus. Even more incentive to make a difference in the lives of people who live in New Hampshire and are still hungry. For students who wish to reach more local people in need, the Hundred Nights shelter in Keene is in need of food cards for coffee and creamer as the resource manager of Nights, Nicky Ramain said. They also could use Staples cards so they can fix printers and computers the people use to find resources to better themselves. And of course there’s the busy Community Soup Kitchen in Keene whose executive director, Phoebe Bray said they have a good relationship with a few KSC interns and rely on the Keene community to be able to help feed people.
The Equinox would like to commend all the students who have participated in any of these community service projects and encourages others to help as well. All these activities involve being around friends, helping people in our local community and broadening our awareness of the people and the social problems around us. If every time our Keene community was affected by something awful and we remembered how students have helped others, future KSC students will not know Keene by the number of crimes but by its passionate and warm-hearted community.