Villanova, Pa. – This past weekend over 4,500 members of the Villanova University community participated in the 10th annual St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service. 452 of the volunteers were student athletes, coaches, and staff members from 22 teams. This year there were over 130 sites that were served over the weekend. Overall, the 452 student athletics volunteers completed approximately 1,300 hours of service.
Director of Student-Athlete Development Allison Venella shared how this event has grown every year.
“The spirit and enthusiasm of our coaches, staff and especially our student-athletes never ceases to amaze me,” Venella said. “This year marked the 10th Anniversary of a Villanova event that was originally supposed to take place for just one year…that is the true spirit of Villanova.”
She went on to add, “This year’s participation was at all all-time high, with 22 of our athletics teams able to volunteer at different points throughout the weekend.”
St. Thomas of Villanova believed in challenging all within the Church to serve the least powerful, and to discover love and wisdom in the service of others. St. Thomas was known as “father of the poor,” he established social programs on behalf of the poor. The day of service was created to keep St. Thomas’ mission alive, for the past 10 years the Villanova community has been able to help thousands of local people in need.
Anne Yahiro, a senior on the track and field team, explained the impact the day of service had.
“This year we went into Philadelphia and worked alongside other groups from Villanova to clear out the weeds and garbage from a field in order for the local Church to be able to plant a garden there. The entire team was eager and enthusiastic to participate” Yahiro said.
She went on to say, “Seeing the before and after of the site was a humbling and exciting experience because we were able to actually see the direct impact we made through our work. The work we did was more than just being a part of this annual event; it was about using our abilities towards serving those around us.”
Women’s lacrosse player Chelsey Henderson, a senior on the team, said that they got to experience firsthand the impact they were having on the community.
“Our team was a part of one of the largest sites with over 500 students all working together to clear and begin the horticulture development of the land,” Henderson said. “It was really meaningful when one of the women who lived across the street from the site came over to work with us, and told us that we were “the answer to her prayers” and she was so happy to see the land being used instead of collecting trash.”
To read more please visit: http://www.villanova.com/sports/student-services/spec-rel/091515aab.html#