When the community provides so much, it’s important to give back to the community

Starting in 2017, the Marauder Day of Service returned after a COVID-19-induced hiatus to bring the Maclay community together again to help the surrounding community. This year, the Marauder Day of Service was put on by Maclay Key Club on Oct. 8, who offered a multitude of service opportunities; all of which include: Hands & Hearts for Horses, Boys Town North Florida, Keep Tallahassee Beautiful, Hashtag Lunchbag, Ability 1st Ramp Build, The Bicycle House, Lee’s Place Grounds Clean-Up, The Kearney Center and Hang Tough Carnival.

People are more likely to put in effort to projects they’re passionate about, so Maclay Key Club chose service projects geared toward common interests, including helping animals, working with children, organizing/clean-ups and building projects.

Members of the Maclay community that were interested in working with animals and children helped at Hands & Hearts for Horses, an organization located in Thomasville, Georgia, that provides equine therapy services. Volunteers got to help clean up the trails and property and oversee riding lessons.

“I chose Hands & Hearts for Horses because I work at a vets office, I love animals and I enjoy working with children,” junior Abbi Sherman said. “My favorite moment from the experience was getting to see the kids’ faces light up while they rode the horses.”

People who were interested in clean-ups and organizing chose Lee’s Place, a non-profit counseling center that specializes in grief, loss and trauma. Volunteers helped wash the outside windows of the building and worked in the garden doing weeding and pruning.

“I chose [Lee’s Place] because it was MCSC’s (Maclay Community Service Club’s) choice place to do volunteer work,” sophomore Collins Barton said. “I also chose it because I went there when I was little and I remember how beautiful the garden was. My favorite part was seeing the huge pile of yard debris at the end; it showed all of the hard work we did to help clean up the garden around Lee’s Place. I would love to volunteer there again!”

One opportunity for Maclay community members to build their projects was The Bicycle House. Volunteers disassembled bikes to understand how they work and learn the purpose of why they’re doing so. The Bicycle House was founded to provide service and education to people in the community by teaching how to build bikes as well as provide transportation to other people who need it.

“I chose the Bicycle House because I thought it would be fun to work with bicycles and I like to work with mechanical things,” junior Charlie Rust said. “My favorite part was taking the pedals off the bikes because we all worked together to try and get them off. Also, it was pretty funny with all the ways we tried getting the bolts off.”

Those that were interested in working with children chose to work with Hang Tough. Hang Tough offers resources to help their mission of building a community for families who are on a journey with childhood illness or special needs to provide a refuge and outlet that supports the entire family. The Hang Tough Carnival was a Halloween themed event with treats, costumes, games and food that brought a big crowd together.

“Hang Tough is such a great program so by pulling in the community with an event, the more community we can pull in and the more families that we can serve, take care of and love on,” Executive Director of Hang Tough Danielle Howard said. “For the community to see what we do and see that we exist is such a big thing because word spreads like wildfire and then we have more abilities to serve all the families.”