Gannon lends a hand around Erie


Gannon University held its 19th annual GIVE Day Saturday to give back to the Erie community in the form of various community service projects.
GIVE Day, or Gannon’s Initiative to Volunteer Everywhere, is a tradition that gives students, staff, faculty and alumni the chance to get together for a good cause.
Students get the opportunity to gain service learning hours through this event, as well as connect with other students on campus. GIVE Day brings the Gannon community together to make a positive impact on the local area.
This year, approximately 1,000 students, staff, faculty and alumni participated in projects for GIVE Day at a variety of locations around the community. There were over 36 different projects for students and faculty to volunteer through. A few of the projects included Our West Bayfront and Beauty on the Bluffs.
Our West Bayfront is a project of the Erie-GAINS initiative. They teamed up with Bayfront East Side Taskforce and Erie Downtown Partnership to revitalize the entire downtown area. Beauty on the Bluffs is the beautification of the East Bayfront Neighborhood through the act of trash pickup.
While Gannon students in Erie participated in GIVE Day, the Gannon community in Ruskin, Fla., participated for the second year in the tradition as well. The Ruskin community volunteered at the Mary and Martha House, which provides emergency shelter and transitional housing for homeless and abused women and children.
Gannon alumni also participated in GIVE Day on a national scale. Alumni worked on projects in Erie, Ruskin, Rochester, N.Y., Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, N.Y., Chicago and Atlanta.
Many clubs and organizations throughout campus also participate in GIVE Day as a group on specialized projects. One of the clubs that participated this year was Lambda Sigma. Shayla Jones, social work major and president of Lambda Sigma Honor Society, took a group of seven students to The Erie Family Center to paint.
Jones explained that this may seem like a small service to some people, but the impact it has for the Family Center was much greater. Because of the help they received, the center can now keep the funds that would have been used and put them toward other work.
Jones explained the impact that GIVE Day had on Lambda Sigma as a whole. “Today we grew through giving,” she said. “It is funny, you go to give but we are the ones actually receiving.” Jones said that she will be participating in GIVE Day again because she believes that servitude and connecting with others is important.
Hayley Woebse, a sophomore undeclared major, participated in GIVE Day through Lambda Sigma as well. She said that GIVE Day allowed her to see how just one Community Center to help so many people and give them a sense of hope.
Woebse said that the experience made her realize what is actually going on in the community. “It made me realize how there are places in danger of closing due to lack of volunteers,” she said.


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