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Rain doesn't dampen spirits during Town Pride Town Wide

Published on April 24, 2024

Rain doesn't dampen spirits during Town Pride Town Wide

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) at Eastern Connecticut State University spread its charity to community partners on April 20 during the annual Town Wide Town Pride event. This year’s community service activities benefited 14 organizations in Willimantic.

Sites included Covenant Soup Kitchen, Grow Windham Community Garden, Willimantic Area Interfaith Ministries, CLICK, High Street, the Railroad Museum, White Water Park, the Garden on the Bridge, the Mill Museum, Abundant Church Life, Windham No Freeze, Horizons and Windham Middle School. 

“All sites ranged from gardening, painting, mulching and other projects,” said CCE Coordinator Lexie Mastroianni. “My student leaders and community partners are fantastic.  As for the volunteers, we had a great turnout, including the women's soccer and field hockey teams, and Phi Delta Theta student organization. The volunteers play such a pivotal part in the event, and we could not do it without them.” 

In spite of rain, volunteers adapted well to whatever site they were assigned. “Inclement weather is not necessarily a problem, it just gets a little muddy, but you can still get the job done,” said student leader Nicole Leyner.  

Leader Kathryn Kubisek, who led a gardening team at Grow Windham, added that she and her coworkers are consistently encouraged to step out of their comfort zones along with the volunteers. 

“A big part of the job is flexibility, and the way that it works is that Lexie (Mastroianni) assigns us to each of the posts, so a lot of us are getting new experiences today.” 

A team of first-time volunteers led by Eduar Morales did some remodeling at Windham No Freeze, a place where homeless people go for shelter. Our goal with remodeling is simply to help them out a little bit. That’s where our initiative usually is.” 

Student leader Jayson Caballero and his team did some raking and mulching at the Railroad Museum, which he described as, “A great chance to learn more about the Willimantic community and its history,” as well as a great volunteer experience. 

“The weather was a bit unpleasant, but it’s still great to see all the volunteers come here and push through, having everyone all together, the student leaders, volunteers, and community partners in spite of the weather, shows a lot of great effort on our part,” he said. 

Written by Elisabeth Craig