Students, staff volunteers visit 17 community sites for HKS Serves

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A cadre of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) students, staff and faculty — led by Dean David T. Ellwood — took to the streets, schools and neighborhood centers across the region on Aug. 26 as part of a School-wide day of service. HKS Serves brought out approximately 400 volunteers to 17 locations across Boston, Cambridge, Newton, and Somerville — from the Long Island Shelter to Winter Hill Community School.

The day began with a presentation by Tim McCarthy, adjunct lecturer on public policy, who reminded participants that while they may think globally, they should act locally. Moments later the student teams and staff leaders dispersed, heading in multiple directions — some armed with garden gloves and tools, others with trash pickers, and all equipped with the good will and determination to help local citizens and organizations.

“We are a school of government, and most students are focused on international service or nationwide [service] and this is to remind people that there is a local component to any kind of service,” said Peter Brooks, M.P.P. ’13, who was one of dozens of volunteers at Cradles to Crayons, a Brighton-based nonprofit that collects and distributes clothing, toys, and other goods for children in low-income families. “We are reaching out to students below the age of 12 in needy situations, and for a lot of us whose focus has been big picture this is a fun way to get involved at the local level.”