The 2017 version of GIVE Day—Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere – will take place Saturday at various locations around Erie.
Sara Nesbitt from the Center for Social Concerns said more than 1,000 Gannon faculty, staff and students will spend three hours on Saturday morning doing volunteer projects in their community side by side with community members.
“Faculty and staff are always invited and encouraged to attend,” Nesbitt said.
She said many faculty members will go with teams or clubs they advise, but if they are not advising a team or club they may simply ask to get involved somewhere.
Nesbitt emphasized that no matter what a student is doing, it is important work. Even if he or she is picking up cigarette butts, it is important for the health of the community and the ecosystem.
Summer Young, a junior health care management major, said she has had a good GIVE Day experience in the past. Last year, for example, Young participated in GIVE Day at the beach.
“I collected anything from dead fish skeletons to people’s underwear,” she said. “Then we got rained out and got soaked.
“Then we had to wait for specific people and they came on the bus looking like wet dogs.”
According to Nesbitt, GIVE Day is one of the university’s most recognizable traditions.
That point was hammered home to her recently when she left home wearing her GIVE Day shirt, which simply spells out “GIVE” in large letters across the front.
“So I stepped out of my house and the woman three doors down yells, ‘Hey, Sara, did you go to Gannon?’ literally because she saw my GIVE Day shirt,” she said.
Nesbitt also emphasized the need for the community’s involvement in GIVE Day. She said that the community partners and sites that students, faculty and staff will be serving make the event possible. In addition, she said that community members are able to help on some projects.
Nesbitt said GIVE Day always takes place on the same day as the International Coastal Cleanup, so the university plans to send nearly 300 students to clean up Presque Isle and Elk Creek State Park.
Nesbitt said there are a few other cleanup projects at various locations that are part of the International Coastal Cleanup Project.
“We have students doing a painting project at Strong Vincent Middle School and that’s especially noteworthy because Strong Vincent Middle School is our Community Schools partner,” Nesbitt said. “We help support the students and the work of the Community Schools coordinator in that school.
“We’re also excited about the project with the Sisters of Saint Joseph Network. They’re one of our longest standing partners and they’re really integrated into their community.”
The network is in the Little Italy neighborhood.
Nesbitt also said she’s excited that Gannon’s partners at Catholic Charities are hosting an Activity Day for new American children.
Young said that she gets plenty of satisfaction from participating in GIVE Day.
“My GIVE Day experiences are that giving back makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger,” she said.
This year’s participants should gather in the Hammermill Center at 8 a.m. Saturday with their ID and a water bottle.
Emails will be sent with further information later this week.
Registration closed as of Monday; however, students will not be turned away on Saturday if they are not registered.