More than 1,600 members of the St. John’s community participated in the University’s Service Day.
The event encourages students, faculty, administrators and alumni to volunteer at different off-campus sites. Participants spent the day collecting books for schools, raising money for St. John’s Bread and Life and organizing donations for the Midnight Runs and much more.
Service Day was set up as a way for the University to follow the teachings of St. Vincent dePaul and St. Louise de Marillac.
At the Queens campus, participants gathered in Taffner Fieldhouse to reflect and prepare for their day of service.
Many of the Greek organizations participated, and all of the athletic teams were represented, visiting soup kitchens and schools in the area. The University Honors Program, the Ozanam Scholars Program, ROTC, Campus Ministry organizations and Schools of Pharmacy and Education all sent large groups.
Father Patrick Griffin, executive vice president for the mission and branch campuses addressed the crowd, calling on them to remember the teachings of St. Vincent dePaul and St. Louise and to embody the University’s mission in their work.
While the Queens campus had the most participants, other campuses abroad, including Rome, Paris, Dublin and Salamanca, participated as well.
In Miami, Atlanta, Ga., Washington D.C. and Orange County, Calif., alumni groups were also involved with Service Day events.
Students gave varied reasons for getting involved.Amanda Sasenick, a sophomore, stated that the teachings of St. Vincent dePaul and St. Louise inspired her.
“I want to give back so that others will be inspired to give back, to fulfill and spread the Vincentian mission,” she said.
Lauren Miller, a junior and Ozanam Scholar, emphasized compassion for others as the basis for her participation.
“It could have been me,” she said, “What if I need help? I would want someone to do the same for me.”