Search the Bulletin

7. Keep Up the Good Works

41a_park_cleaning.jpgSWARTHMORE CARES
The inspiration for Swarthmore Cares—an Atlanta Connection outreach program— emerged from a strategic planning conversation about alumni engagement that Atlanta Swarthmoreans had with Alumni Council member Amy Lansky Knowlton ’87 last January.

An alumnus’s interest in seeing the Atlanta Connection do something as a group sparked interest in volunteering. “We decided on community service—something that would make an impact—and then to move onto something social afterwards,” says Connection Chair Emily Nolte ’07. This fall, Swarthmore Cares will hold its third community service event, helping with the maintenance of one of the city’s parks.

Swarthmore Cares plans to do three projects a year, focusing on healthcare, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and a green event. In March, the group launched its first project, devoting three hours to sorting supplies for MedShare International, a nonprofit that collects surplus medical supplies and equipment and redistributes them to qualified healthcare facilities in the developing world. Afterwards, the alumni headed to the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Ga., for food and drink, says Nolte. On July 7, alumni volunteered at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, sorting 5,252 pounds of frozen meat that was used for 3,501 meals.

Atlanta Connection co-chair Linda Valleroy ’72 suggested the name Swarthmore Cares for the volunteer service group. “I very much admired an arm of the Penn Alumni Association called Penn Care, in which we did fun and helpful things in Atlanta,” says Valleroy. “Emily ran with the idea, creating a Swarthmore version of the community service program.”

“These events have been a lot of fun, an easier way for Atlanta-area alumni to connect, and a very organic Swarthmore thing to do,” says Nolte. “We’re able to give back and enjoy each other’s company. Overall, the Atlanta Connection has more active members since we’ve started Swarthmore Cares.”

Both Valleroy and Nolte urge other Swarthmore Connections to explore the formation of a Swarthmore Cares in their own cities. “It’s a good way to bring out alumni,” says Nolte.


Comments are closed.