A neon green wood-crate caterpillar flower planter accented with bright orange and red spots and googly eyes awaits its future home at Little Village Early Learning Center in Hiram. Soon to sprout colorful posies, the cheery handmade structure is one of many service projects Hiram College students will work on Thursday, March 29, Sugar Day.
On and around campus, hundreds of Hiram Terriers, including all freshmen colloquium students, will take a day away from classes to serve others and care for their surroundings. Sugar Day harkens back to the 1856 Day of Running Sap, when Hiram students gathered at the town’s Udall sugar camp to make maple syrup for community members. For their 2018 Sugar Day celebration, Hiram students will start the day at 10 a.m. at Fleming Field House. There, they will pack 200 boxes with soap, razors, toothpaste, deodorant, and other toiletries for the Mahoning Valley Hope Center and Family Community Services Center in Ravenna.
With garbage bags, shovels, rakes and other hand tools in tow, Hiram students will bring a bustle of energy outside as they spread some 80 yards of mulch throughout campus, pick up litter on the grounds of Fairview Cemetery and along Hiram’s village streets, and turn field soil at nearby Hiram Farm. They’ll also make a stop at Hattie Larlham to create crafts with residents and help wherever needed.
“We are surrounded by so many people who can benefit from what we have to offer. The students see that it’s not just about them and that there is a broader community to help,” says Mary Taylor, Hiram College service coordinator.
“Sugar Day is about taking pride on our village and campus,” adds Sarah Dyer Dowd, Hiram College director of campus involvement. “It’s important for us to cherish what we have and take care of it.”