October 05, 2011
“What A Difference A Day Makes” to the Lives of
On Saturday, September 24, the St. John’s University community
worldwide participated in the 10th Annual
University Service Day, celebrating a decade of commitment
to a university-wide day of Vincentian service.
Over 1,500 volunteers served those in need
throughout all five boroughs of New York City, and abroad at the
campus locations in France, Italy and Spain. In honor of St.
Vincent de Paul (founder of the Congregation of the Mission) and
his commitment to the poor and disadvantaged, service sites
included a variety of projects, includingserving 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 150 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.
In addition to
the off-campus service sites, the Queens campus hosted the
inaugural “Dribble for the Cure” fundraising event, a joint effort
involving collaboration between the St. John's Men’s and Women’s
Basketball programs, and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation
(PCRF). The ‘Dribble’ was attended by head coaches
Steve Lavin and
Kim Barnes-Arico and members of the national PCRF
board, along with volunteers and participants from the local
community. The proceeds from the event went to the Pediatric Cancer
Research Foundation (PCRF) Laboratory at Maria Fareri Children's
approximately 100 volunteers from the Staten Island campus, which
included 17 student groups, who went out to serve at over 10
different sites throughout the borough. On-site at the campus,
volunteers participated in the annual tradition of making a
six-foot wreath made of memorial ribbons and cards for those who
battle with breast cancer. For ten years, this wreath has
been displayed at various venues throughout Staten Island for the
remainder of the year. Other volunteer groups served at Carmel
Richmond and Lily Pond Nursing Homes, the Silver Lake Specialized
Care Center, and the St. Elizabeth Ann’s Healthcare and
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.
10th Annual University Service Day kicked off the 2011
Founder’s Week Celebration, including the the Vincentian Chair of
Social Justice Lecture on Monday, September 26 in St. Thomas More
Church by the Most Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., J.C.D., Bishop of
Trenton. For more information on Founder’s Week, please visit www.stjohns.edu/foundersweek.
information on any of the Service Day sites, please contact
Elizabeth Reilly, Associate Director of Media Relations at St.
John’s, at email@example.com, or by
calling (718) 990-5789.