GIVE Day should start, not end, service

Congratulations. Whoop de doo.

You were able to pull yourselves out of bed the Saturday morning after a bar crawl – or another lame frat party – to donate four hours of your weekend to the Erie community for GIVE Day.

We’ve spent the weekend filling out all the person-of-the-year award applications. Keep your fingers crossed but don’t expect anything more than those T-shirts.

However, in all seriousness, participating in Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere is, in fact, a noble deed and one that should be celebrated. After all, you did help somebody, somewhere.

But having your volunteer service begin and end with GIVE Day is the same as helping an old lady halfway across a busy intersection. It’s a good first step – literally – but ends with you not serving another person as much as you’re capable of.

While a few hours of picking up litter on Presque Isle or spreading mulch around Gridley Park is a good start, it isn’t an adequate finish.

To truly make your mark on Erie – or anywhere else for that matter – those hours need to turn into weeks and those weeks into years, as it takes more than one afternoon  to have a substantial impact on someone’s life.

But if you indeed want to get involved, there is no shortage of opportunities. Aside from all the clubs around campus that encourage service, plenty of organizations around Erie  could use a helping hand.

There are animal shelters, orphanages, old person homes or nonprofits dedicated to helping the environment. It’s just a matter of picking one you can get fired up about.

But whatever you do, we challenge you to pick one because as Muhammad Ali once said, service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.