Friday, June 10 was Berkeley College’s second annual Community Service Day. A day when members of the college’s faculty and staff take a moment out of their busy schedules and donate some of their time and effort to improve a locale that some of their students hail from. In aggregate, some 400 Berkeley College associates donated 1,500 hours of their time across over 40 different charities in the New York Metropolitan area, including organizations located in right here in Rockland County. One of those charities was Nanuet’s very own People to People.
The impetus for the annual event stemmed from an earlier Berkeley College tradition which brought together staff and faculty from the college’s different eight campuses for a yearly social function. Those who participated decided that their energy could be better spent addressing the needs of others.
“Usually we have an All Associate day with all the associates,” said Louie Dela Fuenta, site captain for the People to People group. “Someone came up with the idea that while we are all together, we should help out.”
The volunteer delegation from Berkeley not only helped out around People to People, a few members also made donations.
“Some of us brought clothes, some team members donated cash,” said Dela Fuenta. “Basically we are volunteering our services all day to help People to People.”
Of particular importance to the volunteers was the fact that their actions were benefiting their students’ communities.
“They wanted us to give back to the communities that we work with,” said Cristina Carnemolla. “We have a bunch of campuses within New York and New Jersey. It’s great that Berkeley let us do that.”
Their hard work stacking the shelves and putting away donations was sincerely appreciated by all of the staff and regular volunteers at People to People. As Rockland County’s largest food bank, the organization routinely relies on local volunteers to ensure that its important mission of helping out the county’s less fortunate residents gets realized.
“It worked out swimmingly to have them here today,” said Diane Serratore, People to People’s Executive Director. “We just had a huge donation of food and a large donation of clothes that needed to be stacked. It ‘s great that they brought a team today because we’re able to get the pantry stocked for next week where we’ll see about 250 to 300 families. We’re grateful to Berkeley College for allowing their staff to come over and help because we can’t do this alone.”