Home > News > Community Service and Outreach at Merrimack College: Growth and Success

Community Service and Outreach at Merrimack College: Growth and Success

Colleen Mearon

Staff Writer ‘21

The Hands to Help community outreach opportunity at Merrimack College opened the doors of its new location on November 15, moving to 60 Island Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts. This is the second location change since opening in 2015 due to the growth of the resource center. The new location is double the size of the prior location, upgrading to 1,900 square feet of space. 

Rosana Urbaez, the director of Hands to Help, mentioned in an article on the Merrimack College website that the new location offers much needed space, as they are hoping to serve the community in a much larger capacity. Urbaez also explained that the new location is near a bus service and in close proximity to Essex Street, one of Lawrence’s busiest streets. This was very important to Urbaez, as she wanted to make sure people had access despite if they had vehicles or not. 

Services offered by Hands to Help include job preparation and resume building, college application training, after school tutoring, and more free of charge to the community. In addition, the center is an information referral site for other local non profits and offers resources for public use. 

Urbaez also oversees the annual outreach opportunity Mack Gives Back, which brought 450 student volunteers to 24 different sites throughout the Merrimack Valley November 1-8. 

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the college spread out to offer help to various nonprofit and municipal agencies in need of assistance. Services performed by volunteers range from raking leaves and blazing new trails in the woods, to working in food pantries for children or bagging litter. 

This is the eighth year the event has run, beginning in 2012 by Merrimack’s Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Father Raymond Dlugos, O.S.A. Mack Gives Back honors two important days to Merrimack History, both Veteran’s Day and St. Augustine’s birthday. 

The Community Service and Outreach department at Merrimack College sponsors these events to help students pursue their spiritual and personal growth through engaging in their community. For more information Hands to help or Mack Gives Back, reach out to Rosana Urbaez at urbaezr@ merrimack.edu, mackgivesback@merrimack.edu, or handstohelp@merrimack.edu