Dartmouth’s Day of Caring


What would you do on a rainy Saturday in the fall? For some community-minded Dartmouth students, the answer was: volunteer!

Saturday, October 1, marked the second annual Dartmouth-United Way Day of Caring, sponsored by the Tucker Foundation and Granite United Way. One hundred seventy-seven Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff volunteered 1,016 hours of help to serve the Upper Valley community.


Dartmouth faculty, staff, and student Day of Caring volunteers after picking 1,300 pounds of apples to be distributed by Willing Hands of Lebanon, N.H. (photo courtesy of the Tucker Foundation)

The day began with breakfast at the Top of the Hop before volunteers were dispatched to various work sites. Projects included painting at the Upper Valley Humane Society in Enfield, N.H., and the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Vt. (the museum was damaged in the recent flooding from Hurricane Irene); cleaning and yard work at the Good Neighbor Health Clinic, also in White River Junction; and gardening at the Morrill Homsestead in Strafford, Vt., and The Family Place in Norwich, Vt.

While the rain caused a few changes in plans, it did not dampen the spirit of the volunteers, most of whom were students, including many ’15’s. One rain-drenched group picked over 1,300 pounds of apples for distribution by the Willing Hands food distribution group of Lebanon, N.H.

“Landscaping the flowerbeds of The Family Place during the Day of Caring gave me a feeling of connection to the area around Dartmouth and showed me how just a few hours on a Saturday morning can make a big difference for somebody else,“ said Hilary Johnson ’15, an engineering sciences major from Portland, Ore. ”I wish I could do it every Saturday. I can’t wait to go back in the spring and see the daffodils and crocus blooming!”

The event was so popular among students there was a wait-list to participate. “This year we expanded the projects and got more Tucker staff involved,” says Kate Petcosky, volunteer coordinator for the Tucker Foundation. “It’s wonderful that there is so much excitement to help.”

Nancy Fontaine