SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Colleges and universities in western Massachusetts welcomed students back to campus this week.

At Springfield College, students started the school year off on a generous foot. College students lend a helping hand before classes begin.

The Springfield College service project, year after year, encourages students to offer volunteer time to surrounding neighbors. Students complete tasks including yard maintenance and clean-up.

Springfield College president Mary Beth Cooper joined students on their service routes today.
She told 22news that the project embodies what the school is all about.

“We incorporate leadership and service in almost everything we do,” said Mary beth Cooper, President, Springfield College.

Springfield college welcomed students back to campus just Friday. The service project comes as freshman and transfer students get acclimated to the college.

Over 700 students visited 31 sites in need of service surrounding campus. One participating junior told 22news it’s a great way for students to get to know each other.

“I think moving around, helping people know what Springfield is about, about our humanities and our community service, and how they can get involved in the Springfield community really makes Springfield special and it introduces these kids to a great time,” expressed Colby Welch, Junior, Springfield College.

And neighbors especially appreciated the kind gesture. Springfield resident Willie Mae Burgess says she wouldn’t be able to do work like this herself, letting the volunteers know just how thankful she is for them.

“Thank you thank you thank you, God bless you. I appreciate it an awful lot,” said Willie Mae Burgess, Springfield.