St. Thomas of Villanova was known for his great charity to the poor and marginalized; a great sentiment that many young Wildcats took to heart as they celebrated the university’s patron saint and his legacy with a day of service and volunteering around the city of Philadelphia.
18 different teams including over 5,000 alumni, students, and faculty joined together on September 24, 2016 to give back to Greater Philadelphia on the 11th Annual St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service Celebration.
Allison Venella, Director of Student Athlete Development helped organize this special day for Villanova student-athletes. “I am so proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff for rolling up their sleeves and serving in so many ways during the 11th annual Day of Service. Throughout the weekend our volunteers made 5,000 volunteer sandwiches, packaged 10,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now, wrote donation letters for Joy of Soxx, painted, cleaned, organized, dug, raked, picked-up trash and more between Villanova and Philadelphia and beyond at one of the 145 Service Sites. Their display of enthusiasm and spirit was infectious as they spent their Saturday in our local community helping those in need.”
This was an annual day for Emmanuel “Manny” Morris, former student-athlete at Villanova University who also participated in the Day of Service, now as an alum. Morris was a member of the baseball team. In the past years, the baseball team just did work on their field at Plymouth Meeting, but this year, was the first year the team actually went out to a specific place in the community. “It felt good to finally have the opportunity to go out in the community to fully participate in Day of Service with the team. As a student-athlete I feel like we all have a responsibility to donate our time and talents to others in need. Personally I love giving back and taking time to help others around me. Even though the day can be long, it is still a fun one spent with your teammates and allows us to reflect on how blessed we are with the opportunity we are giving to play college athletics at a great academic institution. Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat. #AlwaysReppin’” said Morris.
Athletic Director Mark Jackson participated in his first day of service this year. “The St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service and so much of what Villanova represents is symbolic of community. This event is unlike any other that I’ve been around. It draws every corner of campus together in a very powerful way to help so many.”
Among the participation from Villanova student-athletes, together they served 1,338 hours of community service.
This 11th annual event builds upon the great service performed throughout the year by the Villanova community and exists as a unique way to put its Augustinian ideals into action.
Below is a list of Villanova’s teams who took part in this special day.
Villanova Teams Service Site: Service Site Name
VU Women’s Soccer Stop Hunger Now
VU Field Hockey Joy of Soxx
VU Men’s Basketball Stop Hunger Now
VU Men’s Cross Country Stop Hunger Now
VU Volleyball Joy of Soxx
VU Cheerleading City Teams International/Hopes Café
VU Women’s Basketball Bache Martin Elementary School
VU Baseball Centro San Jose /St. Alice Rectory & Church
VU Softball Day of Service prep work
VU Men’s Lacrosse Lamberton Elementary School
VU Women’s Cross Country Providence Animal Shelter
VU Women’s Water Polo St. David’s Church
VU Women’s Rowing St. Madeline Parish, Ridley Park
VU Track and Field The Farm at Bartram’s Garden
VU Swimming & Diving Neighborhood Watch at 5500 West Thompson Street in Philadelphia
The above teams did volunteer work ranging from rolling up their sleeves and making 5,000 volunteer sandwiches, packaging 10,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now, wrote donation letters for Joy of Soxx, painted, cleaned, organized, dug, raked, picked-up trash and more between Villanova and Philadelphia and beyond at one of the 145 Service Sites.