New Students Perform 2,335 Hours of Community Service

By Purnell T. Cropper | September 3, 2010

Whether it was digging trenches or packing food boxes or packing backpacks for children, on Monday, Aug. 30, a total of 519 first-year and transfer students and 31 Orientation Leaders participated in the traditional new student Day of Service during Orientation. They performed a total of 2,335.50 hours of community service, with 18 projects at 16 different sites.

At the Philadelphia Zoo, an outdoor group worked with the grounds staff and landscaped around animal exhibits, and an indoor group worked with the education department and lead activities for children at the exhibits. Another group worked with Cradle to Crayons at the zoo on the Backpack-A-Thon project

, where they acted as buddies to the children visiting for the event. They also helped pack 600 backpacks and distributed them to the children. Another group went to the Elmwood Zoo and worked with the grounds staff to clean up the zoo and landscape there.

Many groups did hands-on work at facilities, such as the group that went to the North Hills Community Center and helped clean the rooms and prepare the building for the fall. Others went to Special Equestrian and helped to plant a healing garden and cleaned the horse stalls. Another project at St. Peters was cleaning and preparing the classrooms for the fall. A large group went to High School Park and helped to weed out invasive species and picked up trash around the park, and a group worked with Arts Sphere Inc. at the Fishtown Community Center to paint a mural and clean up around the building. Others went to the Cheltenham Arts Center and cleaned up around the building and landscaped to get ready for the fall.

One of the heavier labor projects was at Abington, where student worked with the Willow Grove Development Corporation on digging a trench to lay pipe to funnel water away from a house that was having problems with flooding. They also removed a sidewalk and dug a trench for the same purpose at another house to also combat flooding.

And some even worked on campus, at the new park on the northwest corner of campus, cleaning and landscaping to prepare for Arcadia’s first bee hives and also for students to use the new park area.

Other projects focused on service to people in need. At Edgehill Nursing Home, students played BINGO with the residents. Others went to Vintage Thrift and cleaned, sorted, and helped prepare the window displays. Yet another group of students worked with Stop Hunger Now at the Rowland Community Center to package 8,040 meals for people all over the world. Two groups went to MANNA in Philadelphia and prepared food.