Celebrate Service, Celebrate Yates!

The ultimate gift of giving is not some sort of material or what can be seen through human eyes; rather, it is the true happiness one feels internally after. That’s exactly how I felt today. ❤

Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates, or CSCY, is an annual community service event created by Yates County Chamber of Commerce and Keuka College to encourage volunteers from across Yates County to come together and join hands in helping the community. And today was the day! This year, we were blessed to have the best weather of warmth and sunshine after months of freezing weather and snow.

Hundreds of students at Keuka College are gathering in front of the Dahlstrom Student Center.
KCIC group with one of our site supervisors.

We, Keuka College International Club (KCIC), also signed up for CSCY. Although this is volunteer work, I was very impressed to see how thoughtful and generous our school and our supervisors were at the site. Each student was given a free CSCY T-shirt, free raffle and a chance to sign up for transportation if needed. All groups were equipped with a first-aid kit in case of an emergency; not only that, but our site supervisors also provided water and cookies – enough for everyone to boost our energy if we ever felt thirsty or hungry.

Our main task today was to remove and clean the shrubs at the site so that more trees and flowers could be planted in the future. It might not be easy if we did it individually because many of the shrubs were rooted deep down underneath, but since we did it as a group, nothing was impossible.

According to our supervisor, this mound used to be where they produced and contained chemicals.
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The girls are helping out with removing the small shrubs…
…while the guys are carrying a much heavy duty task: pulling out the big shrubs.
Sometimes we can do it on our own…
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…but sometimes we need to rely on each other.
If it’s too hard to pull out the roots, we can use the pruners that our supervisors gave us to make the task easier.
It’s not always simple especially when we have to get rid of the shrubs that have lots of thorns like this one.

It might look we were “gardening” the whole time but actually we had lots of fun! Chit-chatting, telling jokes, helping and picking on each other which made us feel less tired. But there was one more reason it was great: Our work site was located in a heavenly beautiful place, the Keuka Outlet Trail.

Keuka Outlet Trail is just about a ten-minute drive from our campus. I love going there, especially during summertime. The place is ideal for anyone who likes taking a long walk under the trees, running, biking, dog-walking, horseback riding or simply just contemplating the beautiful scenery.

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Working is fun and enjoyable when we choose to make it fun and enjoyable! ❤
After we were done getting rid of the “ugly” shrubs, we wondered around the trail to pick up any trash we saw along the way.

Although we could have spent today lying in bed, doing homework, going off campus or hanging out with friends, we chose to “hang out” in a different way. We chose to be selfless and make our regular Sunday the BEST DAY EVER by contributing a little help to our community.
IMG_1180Cheers to everyone who participated in CSCY this year!

xx

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