August 27, 2019
More than 600 new University of New England students recently converged on the city of Biddeford to perform good deeds.
UNE teamed up with the downtown revitalization organization Heart of Biddeford for this first ever first-year service event.
The students were bussed from campus to the Pepperell Mill in downtown Biddeford, where they dispersed to several different locations.
Approximately 250 students, including J.R. Nelson (Nursing, ’23), spent the morning packing 10,000 meals for local food pantries.
“It’s a good way to kick-off the school year,” Nelson told the Journal Tribune.
The amount of food packaged by the students was enough to provide a meal for every child in York County living in food-insecure households.
“We’re blessed with the opportunity to go to this school,” Jack Ferguson (Communications, ’23) stated to the Journal Tribune. “It’s great to give back to those who are less fortunate.”
The event was designed to get the students acclimated to their new city, while also providing them with volunteer opportunities.
“We want them to see this as their home,” explained Delilah Poupore, executive director of Heart of Biddeford. “When they give back, they become more connected to it.”
The students also cleaned up several parks, helped school teachers get ready for the new year and volunteered at local services agencies.
“A lot of the projects they worked on for non-profits would not have been completed any time soon,” Poupore said.
Poupore hopes that by introducing students to different agencies in the city they'll want to do more volunteer service during their time at UNE.