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HOMECOMING 2013: Students, alumni work together to give back

By Anita Jansman

Alex Blaine (ConEd’15) and Taylor Jennings (Artsci'15) know what they’ll be doing on the Sunday mornings of both Homecoming weekends.

As co-chairs of the Queen’s Gives Back initiative, they will be directing teams of students and alumni who have volunteered to go door to door in the student residential district to collect food items. They will then sort through the items and see that they get delivered to campus and local organizations through the Kingston United Way.

Alex Blaine and Taylor Jennings are co-chairing the Queen's Gives Back food drive initiative. 

The initiative embodies two of Queen’s distinctive traditions: student leadership and community engagement.

“This is a great way to get involved, to help the community we live in,” says Ms. Blaine, who knows a thing or two about getting involved in her community and student leadership. She has always been committed to volunteer work on campus, a principle she learned from her mother, who Alex says was a “huge volunteer” in her community.

Ms. Blaine sees Queen’s Gives Back as a way to demonstrate to Queen’s students that the relationship between Queen’s and Kingston is mutually beneficial. It gives students a sense of their place in the larger community, and shows Kingston residents the value of the work students do for the community.

"Both Taylor and I are excited and proud to be involved in this initiative. It's great to be able to show what students can do for Kingston and vice versa. And the experience will come in handy when we co-chair the United Way Committee this year," says Ms. Blaine.

How to get involved

Students, alumni and residents can participate in Queen’s Gives Back in a number of ways:

  • Returning alumni are asked to arrive outside the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) at 9:30 am on Oct. 6 and 20. They will then be partnered with students.
  • Students who want to join a team can show up at the JDUC as well.
  • Residents in the student district can donate to the food drive with non-perishable food items when the volunteer teams come knocking.

This story is reprinted from the Homecoming 2013 special edition newspaper.