RIT Global Day of Service sees success

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RIT Tigers from the Washington, D.C., alumni chapter, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House on Sept. 17.

More than 200 RIT alumni across the globe joined together on one day this past weekend to volunteer for service projects in their local communities.

RIT Global Day of Service took place on Sept. 17., when members of the RIT family participated in service projects at 26 locations around the U.S. and at RIT international campus locations. The day offered opportunities for alumni to volunteer at RIT-hosted service sites.

In Rochester alone, nearly 80 volunteers gathered at three different locations including Foodlink, Ronald McDonald House and the George Eastman Museum.

Kelly Redder, assistant vice president of RIT for Life and director of the RIT Alumni House, said that she was impressed with the day’s turnout. Redder also oversaw the success of the Global Day of Service predecessor program, RIT Cares, in 2015.

“So many students, alumni and parents came together on Saturday, giving up their personal time to make a big difference,” said Redder. “At Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, I saw RIT Tigers doing everything from cleaning up old doll houses to repairing electronic toys. It was a great team effort.”

Outside of Rochester, nearly a dozen volunteers gathered at the Ronald McDonald House in Washington, D.C., and Denver and San Francisco both brought alumni together to work at neighborhood foodbanks.

International events saw equal success, including a strong showing in Mumbai, where volunteers taught art classes to underprivileged kids, and Croatia, where alumni worked to repair orphanages.

Redder said that the day was not only a great way for members of the RIT community to lend a hand, but also provided a chance for alumni to reconnect and talk about things that are hot topics on campus right now.

“We found that at a number of sites, volunteers were talking with one another about things like President Destler’s retirement, the newly acquired alumni house, and the recent U.S. News & World Report rankings which saw RIT ranked highly amongst top research universities,” said Redder. “It was a great way for alumni to catch up while making a difference.”

The next RIT Global Day of Service will be held in Fall 2017. Images from this year’s event can be viewed on the RIT Alumni Association Facebook page, as well as under the hashtag #RITGDS16.