Community Service Day 2017

by Melea Fowler & Sarah Cushing - University Communications | May 30, 2017
CSD-17-148Wednesday, April 12, 2017 was a day of service and neighborly love as the University of Valley Forge (UVF) participated in the 15th annual Community Service Day. It's a day set aside for the university to show their love and investment to the community and citizens of Phoenixville. 

The day began with the traditional 8 am meet-up in the Flower Chapel. Students were assigned a zone of Phoenixville to serve — parks, residential homes, neighborhood streets, and even the local YMCA. Senator Andrew Dinniman, a long-time supporter of Community Service Day, spoke to the students during the chapel service. "You will make a tremendous difference in the lives of people in Phoenixville," he said. "In fact, it's been rather incredible to me as I've seen the impact of the simple notion of service upon the citizens of this community." President-elect Rev. David Kim prayed for the students and the day as a whole before students were dismissed. 

Junior Thorne McIntosh and senior Melanie Brletic served as this year's Community Service Day key leaders. They worked behind the scenes organizing the event and connecting each zone with members of the community who asked for help. "We want the community to realize that we want to be invested in them. Ultimately, we're invested in Christ and we're serving Him by serving His people," Brletic said.  

For UVF students, Community Service Day is about creating a bond with the community. Some bonds were created by raking leaves and spreading new mulch along children's playgrounds. Other groups picked up trash along French Creek, painted the backstop of a community baseball field, and painted fire hydrants throughout the borough. "It's nice for our school to come together and work together," McIntosh said. As she spread mulch at playground, sophomore Denise Donis thought of the children in the community who would run around and enjoy a beautified park. Other teams spent the day clearing yard debris at residential properties. Many of the residential areas where students served were home to elderly couples or single-parent families. Some students were able to meet the families they helped and put a face to those they served. 

The students' work did not go unnoticed. Families and individuals stopped by and thanked them for their efforts and some children in the area asked if they could help too. Charles Benz, from the Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust, has been a loyal sponsor of Community Service Day since it began fifteen years ago. As he does every year on this day, Benz drove to each zone to personally thank students for volunteering their time and energy to serve the community. 

The University of Valley Forge would like to thank this year’s sponsors for their support and donations that helped make another Community Service Day successful. Thank you to: Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust, Rotary Club of Phoenixville, OWM Law Firm, Campbell-Ennis-Klotzbach Funeral Home, Chester County Food Bank, Crystal Springs, Eagle Wolfington Leasing Corporation, Frees Insurance, The Great American Cleanup Project, Petrucci’s, Ray “The Snack Man,” Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, and Senator Andrew Dinniman