Fitchburg State Students and Faculty Volunteer at United Way’s Day of Caring


Day of Caring.

Julia Ciccolini, Staff Writer, Social Media Manager

Friday September 16, Fitchburg State partnered up with United Way to host the yearly Day of Caring event. United Way is a nonprofit organization that helps bring together communities and tackle issues relating to education, economics, and health. They host many volunteer activities for the benefit of the community. 


The Day of Caring is one of the largest volunteer events of the year. During this event, volunteers from all around North Central Massachusetts will help assist non-profits with some of the tasks they may not necessarily have the resources to complete on their own. It is a way of helping out with smaller tasks within the local communities in order to make a bigger difference. 


The group of volunteers from Fitchburg State specifically helped to clean up Gateway Park. This is a smaller park in Fitchburg, Mass. where members of the community can hangout, or walk around just to get some fresh air. The park includes many picnic areas and shelters where people can eat and hangout. Included is also a walking track that loops around the park and. There are also multiple gardens that grow including different varieties of vegetables.


The volunteers were a mixture of staff and students from the Office of Student Development, United Way personnel, and volunteers from within the Fitchburg community. Volunteers helped with pulling weeds from the gardens, raking leaves, trimming bushes, cleaning up walkways, and reapplying mulch. The goal was to help freshen up the park and prepare it for the upcoming season. Tremendous progress was made, and the volunteers were able to clean up almost the whole park in just two and a half hours. 


One of the volunteers was Shane Franzen who is the Associate Director of the Office of Student Development. He also runs the Commuter Affairs and Volunteer Affairs departments. In an interview with the Point, Shane exclaims his satisfaction with the day. “When you leave, you know you’ve done something nice. When having ownership of doing something, you can see you have actually made a difference.” A lot of the volunteers made a difference during this event which is clearly shown through not only the hours of labor they kindly offered their time for, but also visually through the difference that cleaning up and teamwork can make. 


Fitchburg State has worked with United Way in the past, but unfortunately some of their projects have been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Falcon Community Outreach Center is looking to continue working with United Way in the future and to hopefully unpause some past projects with the slowing of the pandemic.