Making “Do-It-Day 2015” Happen in Hartford

On Saturday, September 12, Trinity students helped out Hartford community service organizations and schools for the 17th Annual Do-It-Day. Although this year’s Do-It-Day was a bit smaller than usual, it was a big help for local groups that serve Hartford.

Under the direction of Joe Barber (pictured below on right), the Director of the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement, Do-It-Day is one of the largest single-day community service events at Trinity. The event has been going since 1999. Each year, several hundred Trinity students split up into groups to help at dozens of community service organizations in the city. The event has grown from 150 Trinity participants in 1999 to about 650-700 regularly participating since 2009. This year’s event involved about 300 Trinity students.

Joe Barber at Do It Day

This year’s Trinity student volunteers were primarily members of athletic teams that were not in season and the Trinity IDP students (Individualized Degree Program). That means these teams train and work together on a limited basis now. They will begin their season later this fall or in the spring.

So getting together for a community service project was a meaningful way for the teams to build camaraderie and serve Hartford organizations. The teams of Trinity students included: Baseball, Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s and Women’s Rowing, Men’s and Women’s Squash, Men’s and Women’s Swimming, Men’s and Women’s Tennis (pictured top left and right), Men’s and Women’s Basketball (pictured bottom left), Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, and Wrestling.

Photos by Joe Barber and Robert Cotto, Jr.

Community service organizations that were assisted by Trinity students included the Hartbeat Ensemble, Grace AcademyCedar Hill Cemetery, and Pope Park, as well as many others. For example, the Women’s Tennis Team helped the Hartbeat Ensemble set up for their yearly gala. Joe DiChristina, the Dean of Campus Life and VP of Student Affairs, also stopped by with his children to help at Pope Park.

You can see all the Do-It-Day projects that happened throughout the City of Hartford on this map. Click on the red tags to learn more about each project!

While helping students to register and get their Do-It-Day T-shirts, Director of Urban Educational Initiatives, Robert Cotto, Jr., also met Alex Tomcho (pictured above), a Trinity student-athlete. Alex was a member of the first graduating class at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, one of Trinity’s major partners. In addition to being a first-year student, Alex will compete on the Track and Field team in the spring.

A number of people helped make Do-It-Day 2015 a success in addition to Director Joe Barber. Those people included: Program Assistant in the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement, Nafe Tengatenga, Trinity ’13 (pictured to the left of Joe), Program Coordinator for the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, Megan O’Brien, Trinity ’14, and Trinity ’16 students Katherine Gagen, Kaitlyn Sprague, Alex Suarez, and Shanelle Morris. Nafe and Megan were former Do It Day coordinators as undergraduate students—Nafe in 2010 and Megan in 2012.

Want to learn more about how to get involved with Community Service and Civic Engagement at Trinity College? Visit the Office in Mather Hall or check out the website.