Fairfield University presents 25th Annual Hunger Cleanup on April 6, 2013


Image: Hunger clean upA Fairfield University tradition continues with the 25th Annual Hunger Cleanup taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and families are expected to be coming together to volunteer for a half-day serve-a-thon at 20-plus local nonprofit agencies and sites. The public is welcome and invited. For questions, contact FairfieldHungerCleanup@gmail.com.

Sign-in begins at 10 .m. in Fairfield University's Barone Campus Center, Lower Level. (Coffee and bagels provided.) From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. community service activities take place at assigned sites. At 1 p.m., all participants return to BCC for celebration, prizes, refreshments, and an opportunity to reflect.

Hunger Cleanup is also part of the I Can Make a Difference National Jesuit Alumni Service initiative, where Jesuit-educated alumni from across the country are volunteering in similar projects with other Jesuit colleges and universities. Alumni from any Jesuit institution are invited to join with Fairfield to make a difference in the Greater Bridgeport community. Visit www.ajcunet.edu/service to learn about the other opportunities available across the country at our fellow Jesuit institutions.

Projects are varied, from painting and spring cleaning to beach cleanup. In the past, Hunger Cleanup has sent volunteers to local organizations such as Project Return, a residential and after-school program for adolescent girls and young women, and Homes for the Brave, which provides safe housing, vocational training and job placement, and other services to help individuals, especially Veterans.

Kristian Petric, who graduated in 2011 and is now pursuing his MBA in accounting at Fairfield, has been involved with Hunger Cleanup since he was a freshman, and his RA pulled together a team of volunteers. "It was a great opportunity to get to know my neighbors in a different setting," he said. "My favorite project was a beach cleanup we did in my sophomore year. We really made a huge impact in such a beautiful setting."

Hunger Cleanup also raises funds for the organizations assisted by the volunteers. This year, a special event called "Dinner with the Stag Stars" has been created to jumpstart the fundraising. People will have an opportunity to bid on having dinner with a campus "celebrity" - such as University President Jeffrey von Arx, S.J.; Sr. Vice President for Administration & Chief of Staff Mark C. Reed '96; Alumni Chaplain Charles Allen, S.J., and other notable figures on campus. The "Dinner with the Stag Stars" auction will be open at Einstein Bros Bagels in the Barone Campus Center on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For many, the annual half-day of service has become a family affair. "My daughter and I volunteered at a homeless shelter in Bridgeport," said Deirdre Bennett, Student Affairs account manager. "We did lots of yard work and had a chance to talk with some of the residents. After four hours of clean-up, we could really see an immediate, positive impact; the residents were so appreciative. And I met other alumni and their families, and students. It was a great experience and we plan to do it again this year."

Kristian Petric recommends that students, staff, faculty, and alumni get involved and volunteer together. "I would recommend this event to anybody affiliated with Fairfield," he said. "It is gratifying knowing you are part of a community that truly cares about giving back to those around them."

Contact Wylie Smith Blake for more information.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 28, 2013

Vol. 45, No. 241