Wednesday, August 17, 2016
More hands on deck means more work accomplished. So when Mercyhurst University’s record freshman class – all 734 of them – gather for the university’s annual Day of Service on Monday, Aug. 22, they’ll undertake 30 volunteer projects at 25 different sites throughout Erie County.
Another 70-plus transfer students will be joining the freshmen for a total just over 800 volunteers, who will depart from the front of the Mercyhurst campus in an entourage of yellow school buses and Mercyhurst’s two new athletic buses.
Everyone will gather in the front circle around the Mary Garden at 9:15 a.m. for a prayer, welcome and spirited send-off from Mercyhurst President Michael Victor. Departure is expected around 9:40 a.m.
Among the sites where students will be volunteering are: Presque Isle State Park, Soldiers and Sailors Home, Springhill Senior Living, Urban Erie Community Development Corp., Erie Zoo, Booker T. Washington Center and Better Housing Erie.
“Day of Service is the unifying event for all students who come through the ‘Hurst. It’s a special opportunity for those new to the university to experience the community beyond the gates,” said Bethany Brun, service learning coordinator at Mercyhurst. “Providing perspective and introducing engagement is part of our mission to develop the whole person.”
During Day of Service, each student engages in at least two hours of community service throughout Erie County. That equates to more than 2,000 volunteer hours and more than $44,000 worth of service for local nonprofit organizations. When all is said and done, it makes a significant impact, said Brun.
The service experience is also a tradition on Mercyhurst’s North East campus, where the new Saints deliver a day of service in the surrounding North East community. This year, they’ll be working at seven different sites from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 22. The Saints in Service Day is organized by Rachel Pacholke, MNE assistant student life director.