Gannon community lends a hand in 18th annual GIVE Day


The Erie community on Saturday was covered with a sea of gray and maroon T-shirts with one simple word on the front: GIVE.

Sporting these shirts were hundreds of Gannon University students, faculty and alumni who were brought together to participate in the school’s 18th annual GIVE Day.

GIVE Day–Gannon’s Initiative to Volunteer Everywhere–consisted of more than 1,100 Gannon-associated volunteers and Erie community members.

These helpers were brought together in the spirit of service to participate in this one-day, three-hour major service project geared toward improving the Erie community through a number of projects.

Center for Social Concerns Program Coordinator Sara Nesbitt said the purpose of GIVE Day is to get students out into the community, get to know places they can volunteer at and help out some great organizations.

“A lot of clubs and organizations really value that they can get in some service hours and spend time with their friends,” Nesbitt said.

Volunteers donated their time and efforts to more than three dozen different service projects ranging from collecting trash on the beach, to landscaping and beautifying different Erie areas.

Some of the larger GIVE Day projects included cleaning Gridley Park, bike cleaning at the Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Network-East, beautifying the West Bayfront community, cleaning up the East Bayfront Neighborhood and collecting trash along McDannell Run.

For many Erie community members, having Gannon students help with their projects on GIVE Day is immensely appreciated.

Sister Pat Lupo, the project adviser for the McDannell Run cleanup, is one community member who is always looking forward to the work done on GIVE Day.

“Having Gannon students here is excellent for the kids,” Lupo said. “They love talking to the students and it’s a nice mentoring opportunity as well.

“When they see an older group come in that cares about the environment, it reinforces what they’re learning,” Lupo said.

“So besides the physical impact of helping clean up the stream, the students are helping by teaching the kids that other people care about the earth and want to help like they do.”

The McDannell Run cleanup is not only a GIVE Day project, but also a part of the International Coastal Cleanup day. Gannon students helped by joining hands with the children of John Horan Garden Apartments to collect trash and record data about the littering involved with the McDannell Run stream.

Parth Shah, a freshman pre-medical student, was one of students who participated in the cleanup of McDannell Run.

“GIVE Day was an amazing experience,” Shah said. “I was fortunate to work with such helpful kids that wanted to help the community as much as I did. I had a great time with them.”

While a majority of the projects were geared toward bettering the Erie community, a number of service projects for other communities were completed across the country by Gannon alumni.

Service jobs were completed in Atlanta, Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, N.Y.

In addition to alumni projects, a first-time, special long-distance project was being completed at the newly opened Gannon campus in Ruskin, Fla.

Around 30 students, faculty and staff participated in GIVE Day at the Ruskin Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center with grounds clean-up, planting greenery and minor facility repairs.

Nesbitt said no matter where the site of the service, the overall objective for GIVE Day is the same.

“The goal is for students to find their passion for service, find a great organization to volunteer at, and have some fun doing it.”


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