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MAG Contributes 23,640 Hours of Community Service

Posted on: May 23, 2013 08:00 EDT by Naval Academy Public Affairs

The Naval Academy Midshipman Action Group contributed 23,640 hours of service to the Annapolis community and beyond during the last year.

MAG managed more than 50 projects and 500 midshipman volunteers.

MAG worked extensively with local school children through a variety of projects, including Big Brothers, Big Sisters; the local Boys and Girls Club, and the Mids for Kids tutoring project that sends midshipmen into local classrooms to help students with school projects.

Mids for Kids has expanded to involve 120 midshipmen who take the time during their weekly schedules to visit eight schools in the local area. Midshipman 1st Class Brian Colby, next semester’s MAG president, tells of visiting the Phoenix Center, a public school dedicated to special education.

“There was one student who was really withdrawn and didn’t want to have anything to do with us,” said Colby.

Colby helped the student with his egg drop project. When they were done constructing, they dropped the project out the school window.

“As this little boy opened the package and saw the egg was still intact, the biggest smile lit up his face, and we gave each other a high-five," said Colby. "It was the coolest thing. It changed his day, and it definitely changed mine.”

The midshipmen also helped out with STEM outreach efforts, assisting with a LEGO competition in Dahlgren Hall Jan. 12 for grades K-12, and organized their second annual “Girls on the Run” event in April where 3rd-8th grade girls visited the Naval Academy for a day of physical activity and mentoring. Over the last two years, more than 600 girls have participated in this event.

MAG has also done its part in fighting hunger and poverty. In the months leading up to Thanksgiving, they collected 15,000 pounds of food to donate to the Maryland Food Bank. In April, the mids gathered together one afternoon to package more than 100,000 meals for the Maryland vs. Hunger project.

The mids turned the task into a competition among themselves, ultimately finishing in only two and a half hours. (It had previously taken the organization’s 800 volunteers nearly twice that long.)

Also in April, 500 midshipman volunteers helped host the 2013 Special Olympics on the Naval Academy Yard.

While much of MAG’s work was done in the local area, many projects extended deeper into the national and global community as well.

Midshipmen traveled to New Jersey during Thanksgiving Break and again earlier this month to help clear debris left behind by Hurricane Sandy. They volunteered with the Books for International Goodwill project, packaging books to send to communities in need both in the U.S. and overseas.

And, through the midshipmen’s work with the Honor Flight Program, World War II veterans from all over the country have been welcomed to the capital region by large groups of midshipmen cheering them on at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Ensign Matt Disher, this semester’s MAG president, said working with veterans through this project helped him appreciate what he is doing with his own career. If the letters the midshipmen receive dafter these events are anything to go by, the veterans gain a lot in return.

In one letter, a veteran said he could now die in peace after the experience, said Disher.

“One of the wives said it was great because her husband finally felt like he was actually a hero,” said Colby.

MAG is a year-round organization, with midshipmen often dedicating their school breaks and working around their required summer training to participate in volunteer work. The mids are already working to schedule a visit to Oklahoma in the wake of recent tornados to help with cleanup efforts.
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