Matthew Imboden, Assistant Director of Residence Education, describes the motivation behind and success of the first ever Rake Forest event which took place on October 5, 2010:

Photo courtesy of Residence Life and Housing

As a way to connect students, the Wake Forest value of service, and the residential neighborhoods surrounding campus, Residence Life & Housing launched the first annual “Rake Forest” event this October.  We targeted residents of Friendship Circle, Harmon Avenue, Rosedale Circle, and Polo Road with hand-delivered pre-stamped postcards which residents could use to request projects to be completed.  The card asked for some basic information about the requested projects, the best ways to contact the resident, and outlined the rules and expectations for the event (for example, no project could include the use of power tools).  Most projects included cleaning, raking, and general yard-work.  Student volunteers worked in 2 different 90 minute shifts throughout the event to complete the projects in teams.

In a number of instances, residents came out and worked alongside the students, which allowed for some great conversations and a few laughs.  When the residents of the homes were either more elderly or unable to come out, many reached out by way of email, a phone call, or a friendly wave from the front door.  In nearly every instance, our neighbors in the surrounding communities were very appreciative.  Hopefully, in the future we’ll be able to provide more close at hand opportunities for students to apply the well-regarded principles of “Pro Humanitate” right here on our own campus and in our local communities!

For more information, read the Old Gold & Black article here.