October 04, 2012
"What A Difference A Day Makes" to
the Lives of Others
On Saturday, September 29, the St. John’s University community
worldwide participated in the 11th Annual
University Service Day, celebrating a decade of commitment
to a university-wide day of Vincentian service.
Over 1,400 volunteers served those in need throughout all five
boroughs of New York City, and abroad at the campus locations in
Rome, Paris and Seville.
In honor of St. Vincent de Paul and his commitment to the poor and
disadvantaged, service sites included a variety of projects,
including serving the hungry in soup kitchens, visiting residents
at nursing homes, engaging in fun activities with disadvantaged
children, cleaning and landscaping area parks, painting rooms in
nearby schools and community centers, and providing assistance with
numerous other important projects. Regardless of the location or
the specific service project, more than 110 teams of
volunteers and participants were charged with the same mission for
the day—to go out and ‘Make A Difference’ in the lives of their
neighbors in need.
the Queens campus, the Honors Program participated in Project HYPE.
Project HYPE combats the Educational, Social, and Personal factors
which often prevent students from attaining success. Volunteers
from the St. John’s Honors Program interacted with approximately 25
students from Cambridge Heights through strategic lesson plans.
St. John’s Queens campus also served as a drop off site for any
unused, expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter
medications for safe destruction. Pharmacists and students from the
St. John's University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
collected prescription drugs from the local communities and
educated the public on storage and disposal of household
prescription medication. This event was one of the sites for the
5th Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National
Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 60 pounds of old prescription was
collected drugs in a few hours adding to the nearly 1.5 million
pounds that federal officials have already been able to collect
nationwide. View Fox 5 NY’s coverage
Other volunteers participated in the St.
Vincent De Paul Friends of the Poor Walk, a national fundraising
effort. The walk took place at Bethpage State Park Picnic Area. All
funds raised were used locally.
Brandi, a freshman in the College of Professional Studies
reflected on her experience with the Friends of the Poor Walk. “I
was so inspired by how enthusiastic the walkers were,” she said.
“From infants to the elderly; it was refreshing to see a group of
people passionate about doing something good. I think that
many people count out the fact that we can change the world and
make the world a better place simply by doing community service.
Service Day is something that I am looking forward to doing for the
rest of my time here at St. John’s and I would recommend that
everyone volunteer, at least once.”
Staten Island campus volunteers took part in the annual tradition
of making a six-foot wreath, made of memorial ribbons and cards for
those who battle with Breast Cancer, which will go on to be
displayed at different venues throughout Staten Island. Nearby on
Willowbrook Road, others prepped for a fundraiser being put on by
Lifestyles for the Disabled that was held later on that day.
Additionally, several other University volunteers were at local
soup kitchens: Project Hospitality Soup Kitchen, Trinity Lutheran
Soup Kitchen, and University Soup Kitchen. Other sites that
volunteers on Staten Island provided service to included Crossroads
Foundation, Golden Gate Rehabilitation Center, Richmond Center for
Rehabilitation and Specialty Care, and Sunrise Senior Living of
At the Oakdale campus, participants went to the Island Harvest food
bank on Long Island, where they sorted, packaged and distributed
food items collected through donations. Other volunteers went to
various local sites providing assistance with several other vital
projects that required additional helping hands.
This year’s Service Day concluded St. John’s University’s
Founder’s Week, a week of events and programs
dedicated to deepening our knowledge and understanding of our
Photos of this year’s University Service Day can also be seen on
the STJ Campus Activities Facebook page
For media inquiries, please contact The Office
of Media Relations at St. John’s University, by calling (718)
990-2451, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.