This piece was originally written for Maryland Today.

More than 800 volunteers picked up, packed up and fully stepped up to complete a record-high 40 service projects on Nov. 12's 11th annual Good Neighbor Day.

Throughout College Park and surrounding neighborhoods, Terps, local high school students and residents cleaned litter, pulled weeds, spread mulch, planted pollinator gardens and installed bee hotels for the day of service organized by the University of Maryland, the city of College Park and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Volunteers packed 15,000 meals, transcribed archival documents, assembled emergency preparedness kits, and assisted veterans and local seniors. At The Hotel at the University of Maryland, residents, teachers and students discussed mental health and public health.

From Oct. 18 to Nov. 12, volunteers ran numerous donation drives, gathering children's books for local tiny libraries and baby items for local families. Together, the community raised over $12,000 and collected 3,000 pounds of nonperishable items for local food banks.

“College Park really came together as a community, connected with one another, and enhanced the lives of our neighbors,” says Gloria Aparicio Blackwell, founding director of UMD’s Office of Community Engagement. “Good Neighbor Day’s success takes a village. We want to sincerely thank our community volunteers, partners, planning committee, sponsors and collaborators for being good neighbors today and every day.”

Check out the photo captions to see what Terps and local residents accomplished together.

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