Mountain Day of Service 2023 breaks new ground

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, students, faculty, and staff participated in a record-breaking Mountain Day of Service.

The annual Lees-McRae tradition is a time for everyone at the college to come together and give back to their community through a day of volunteering. With a record-setting 37 sites and 492 volunteers, Mountain Day of Service was able to spread farther and wider than ever before.

In addition to breaking records for number of volunteers and sites, this year’s Mountain Day of Service brought Bobcats to new projects and organizations throughout the community, establishing relationships between these organizations and Lees-McRae for the first time.

Yellow Mountain Enterprises in Newland, North Carolina was one such organization that made it to the Mountain Day of Service roster for the first time this year. Yellow Mountain Enterprises serves adults in Avery County with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing vocational, educational, residential, and support services. During Mountain Day of Service, Lees-McRae volunteers helped the daily clients prepare for an outreach program of their own, stuffing candy bags for them to hand out at Treat Street, Newland’s annual Halloween celebration.

Mountain Day of Service 2023

In addition to stuffing candy bags, Lees-McRae students teamed up with Yellow Mountain Enterprise vocational clients in the organization’s thrift store, Yellow Mountain Treasure Box. These volunteers helped clean the space, tagged and organized clothing, and moved large furniture pieces onto the retail floor.

Mountain Day of Service also expanded into Tennessee for the first time this year, with two sites in Roan Mountain. Volunteers at Roan Mountain Community Park spread rubber mulch around the playground there, helping to create a safer playing environment for the children who patronize the park. Bobcats also volunteered with Friends of Roan Mountain State Park, assisting with general ground maintenance. This included raking leaves and maintaining trails, skills that students in the college’s Outdoor Recreation Management program have honed through trail building and maintenance courses.

Regardless of whether volunteers were in Boone, Elk Park, or within walking distance of the college, each group was able to dedicate their time and energy to giving back to the people of the High Country and truly embodying the college’s mottoIn the Mountains, Of the Mountains, For the Mountains.

By Maya JarrellOctober 19, 2023
Campus LifeCommunity