Feb. 12, 2018
By Kana Prasertchoang
As a junior, Sarah Sutton already has an extensive list of community service experiences, and the list is only growing bigger. Sutton is double-majoring in psychology and human development, while actively volunteering through the Newman House, the Catholic church at Binghamton University. Over the last two winter breaks, instead of staying idle at home, she participated in week-long mission trips with the Newman House. The first was to Beaumont, Tex., and the other to Baton Rouge, La., to aid with flood relief from hurricanes.
"They were both a little different," explains Sutton. "The first one we worked on one house the entire time, and it was basically sheet-rocking the house. And the second time it was more of a demolition of flood damage so that it could be ready to be sheet-rocked again, and we worked on four houses."
She also helps her fellow students stay active in the community through her role in the service committee for the Newman House. The committee aims to coordinate three service projects or volunteer opportunities per semester for students, including the CIW Food Recovery, where student volunteers help repackage leftover food for it to later be repurposed into meals for hungry residents in the Binghamton community. The committee also set up an event where they made Valentine's Day cards for people at the Willow Point Nursing Home.
Sutton started out doing some volunteer work in high school, but has since branched out to do more. Not only is she active in the Binghamton community through the Newman House, she also joined Alpha Phi Omega (APO), the community service fraternity, which engages in various service opportunities.
"I volunteered at a hospital all throughout high school, so I tried to be involved in my community in high school too," says Sutton. "But I believe more so in college because I have a lot more volunteer opportunities in college because of APO and things like that."
She enjoys volunteering because she gets to make a difference. And throughout her various volunteer experiences, one thing has remained the same: "I think it's about giving time to help other people. It makes the world a better place."
Photo: Newman House members work on a house damaged by a hurricane in Baton Rouge, La.