When Hell Week Freezes

Volunteerism is alive and well on campus, and last week it was reflected in the newly shined shoes of job-hunting RC’s. Over 25 EC’s volunteered to shine shoes for RC’s while dispensing invaluable interview wisdom during dedicated RC interview week. The shoe shines (and interview wisdom) were part of the first annual “When Hell Week Freezes” event sponsored by the HBS Volunteers Club. Marketing for the event directed at EC’s had read: “You swore you’d polish shoes for the RC’s when Hell Week freezes over. Well…you’re in luck.”

Their customers were in luck as well. The EC volunteers shined over 60 pairs of shoes and boots. Those receiving the top-notch shines in exchange for charitable donations included RC’s, staff, and administrators.

Many participants and passers-by noted the dedication, helpfulness, and sheer shoe-shining skill of the volunteer shiners. It is hoped that next year the event will be repeated during dedicated interview week for the EC’s in the fall and again for the RC’s in the winter. In the future, the event may feature campus celebrity shiners or perhaps shiners organized by company experience and career wisdom.

The “When Hell Week Freezes” event was organized to accomplish several important goals, including: provide an opportunity for volunteerism, offer a valuable service to the RC’s, promote EC/RC interaction, and raise money for two important causes. For this first event, the two causes were the HBS Volunteers’ own Project Outreach and for the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans.

According to HBS Volunteers Club Co-Presidents, Lena Henry (OF), Kim Smith (OE), and Guillaume de Gantes (OJ), Project Outreach is a one-day community service event involving all of HBS. This year, the event will take place on April 24th. Henry noted that plans for this year involve volunteers working “at a variety of sites, including senior homes, schools, and youth and community centers” to provide services such as, “painting, cleaning and landscaping.” Project Outreach is one of many volunteer events, including a toy drive and the section charity auctions that the HBS Volunteers Club organizes as part of their goal to centralize volunteering efforts among the HBS community.

Funds raised from the shoe shine event will also go to the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, located in Boston. As the shelter’s mission statement describes, its aim is to, “help rehabilitate and reintegrate veterans who are homeless, unemployed or underemployed by providing them with the tools to move toward self-sufficiency.” One of the founders behind the shelter, an HBS alumnus, attended the shoe shine event, made a generous donation, and left with a newly-shined pair of boots.

Students, staff and faculty who did not get a chance to participate in the event can still support the volunteer efforts by signing-up for Project Outreach, and by supporting an upcoming event that will raise awareness of and funds for the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans. From February 17th through February 20th, members of the Armed Forces Alumni Association will be manning a tent on Spangler lawn 24 hours a day.