Emory Cares 2022: Oxford shows care for local community and environment

Daniel Christian •

Volunteers tended to the Hearn Nature Trail as part of Emory Cares 2022.
Volunteers tended to the Hearn Nature Trail as part of Emory Cares 2022. — Kendyl Brown

Oxford continued its annual Emory Cares traditions of packing boxes for children in Newton County foster care and tending to the Hearn Nature Trail.

For the 18th year, the Oxford community came together in service to others as part of the annual Emory Cares International Day of Service. This year’s events—packing holiday care boxes for children in Newton County foster care and a clean-up of the campus’s Hearn Nature Trail—drew nearly 100 volunteers eager to lend a hand to those in need and care for the local environment.

The day began on the Hearn Nature Trail, where volunteers removed invasive species harmful to the natural ecosystem to create room for native plants to grow. The event was organized by Oxford Athletics and the Biology department, with on-the-ground guidance from Oxford’s Forest Restoration Team. 

“We had a great time outdoors, learned a little ecology and a little botany, and gave some of Oxford's native plants a new chance to thrive,” said Michael Martin, Assistant Teaching Professor of Biology and Chair of the Tree Advisory Committee, who has organized the trail clean-up the last few years. “One of the biggest problems facing forests is invasive plants, so it was great that Emory Cares was able to bring so many people together to help care for our woodlands’ ecological needs.”

Since 2014, this has been a key project for Oxford’s Tree Advisory Committee and has contributed to the college’s designation as a “Tree Campus” by the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit focused on conservation efforts and education. The designation recognizes campuses that are committed to growing and maintaining their forests.

Volunteers packed boxes for children in Newton County foster care as part of this year's Emory Cares day.

Volunteers packed boxes for children in Newton County foster care as part of this year's Emory Cares day.

Photo courtesy of Tammy Camfield

Later in the morning, Oxford volunteers gathered at the student center to pack boxes with daily essentials and gifts—such as school supplies, activity books, gift cards, socks, hats, and more—for local children in foster care. In all, the group packed 100 boxes that the Newton County Division of Family and Children Services will distribute next month. This year’s event was sponsored by Oxford’s Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement (AAE) and Oxapella.

“The Oxford Emory Cares care box project allows us to support children in Newton County foster care,” said director AAE Tammy Camfield, who along with co-chair Paula Woodard 99Ox 01C launched the initiative almost two decades ago.  “The care boxes are given to children to help with their transition to their foster homes. Through the donations and our volunteers’ time, we know we are helping to bring a smile to a child or teen’s face.”

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