Women’s Center celebrates annual Day of Service for Emily Silverstein
By Kara VanBlargan, Women’s Center Correspondent
Most Gettysburg College students spent last Saturday morning of Springfest either hungover or still drunk from the night before.
However, I, along with three of my fellow students powered through our hangovers to make the ten-minute trip to the Shining Stars Therapeutic Ministries. Approximately 35 students participated in various service projects around the local area, organized this year by Anastasia Maisel ’14.
Other projects included the Everblossom farm, Amazing Heart farm, Painted Turtle farm, Gettysburg community clean up and soup kitchen, and the Adams County Rescue Mission. I chose to come to Shining Stars for the Emily Silverstein ‘11 Day of Service 2014 mostly hoping to play with horses for the morning.
However, this picturesque horse farm also tends to any special needs person three to 80+ years old around Adams and York Counties. Not only was I not disappointed by the horse quota, I was greeted by an old Border collie named Zip, who immediately rolled over at my feet for belly rubs, a workhorse named Hank who was rescued from a recent abuse case in Carlisle, and two adopted young donkeys who tormented each other all morning.
For the next few hours, we painted fences, scrubbed feed buckets, and occasionally play d with the animals, though my group may complain that I spent more time on the latter than working. As I stood in the sun enjoying animal lover heaven, I found myself contemplating the girl who brought me there.
I never knew Emily personally, but I know her story, her interests, and her legacy. During her time here, she was the co-President of Peace House, cofounder of the Gettysburg chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, Funk the War, and Tent City and participated in Amnesty International and Free the Children.
She was a young woman who was devoted to public service and making a difference wherever she could. Her annual Day of Service allows Gettysburg College students to donate their time to the causes Emily loved in her absence.
This year, interest and participation in the Day of Service lessened. As the years pass and fewer students and faculty who knew Emily remain, it is easy for her passion and legacy to be forgotten.
Emily was known for her belief that every act of compassion makes a difference; it is my hope that our community embraces her philosophy as our own and continues her tradition of philanthropy in the future.