By volunteering their time during the 23rd annual Day of Caring this past Saturday, Sept. 6th, students of Millersville University were exposed to different types of community service that could be done in Lancaster City.
United Way of Lancaster County created Day of Caring to help empower and build a stronger community through acts of community service.
Day of Caring is a two day event that spanned from Friday, Sept. 5th to Saturday, Sept. 6th. It consisted of about 2,000 volunteers from the Lancaster area, while Millersville volunteers made up one third of all the volunteers. Saturday started off with a “Thank You” breakfast, for all the volunteers that helped with the community service.
Javita Thompson is Community Services Coordinator for Millersville University. She partners with local non-profits to organize days of service such as the Day of Caring. Thompson organized the Day of Caring for Millersville University students because she believed it to be a good “first year experience.” Thompson thought it would be great for pre-scholars, freshmen and graduate students to partake in.
The Day of Caring was a day for students and professors to give back to the community by completing acts of charity, such as spreading mulch, painting fences, helping the elderly and donating time at a day care.
Thompson also hoped that this event would cause students to start giving back to the community.
“There was a large turn out,” said volunteer Andrew Higgins. “Most people were ready to help. I would absolutely go again next year.”
“I would do it again,” Kayla Purcell said. “Because I love volunteer work.”
Day of Caring also was organized to help professors create a deeper bond with their students, besides the ‘Teacher-Student’ bond, because both students and teachers would engage in the volunteering.
“It was a good experience,” said volunteer Ashley Lucabaugh. “ I learned how to do something new and I was able to get to know the people in my class better.”
The National Broadcasting Society (NBS) had some of their club members attend Day of Caring. They volunteered as an organization because they believe it is important to give back to the community. NBS, led by Julie Florek, spread mulch in the gardens of a local park.
“The day was a huge success,” Florek said. “It was a great day, we got the opportunity to meet new people, and being able to give back to the community is a great thing.”
This year, Millersville students assisted in twenty different projects in Lancaster and Millersville.
“Its instant gratification to be able to take a step back and see the things you have done,” said Florek.
Day of Caring, not only was a day of volunteering, but also a day of learning.
Purcell attended a garden, called ‘Dig It,’ where they weeded, picked fruit, and also learned about some herbs there.
Last year’s Day of Caring was on September 6th and 7th. It had over 1,600 volunteers, from 70 different businesses, schools, and organizations that assisted over 60 different non-profits organizations.