Students News

Community Service Day 2015

by Office of Marketing | Apr 29, 2015
CSD 2015
On April 22, 2015, University of Valley Forge (UVF) students, faculty and staff spent their day serving the town of Phoenixville by volunteering in projects such as restoring local parks, cleaning residents’ homes and yards and painting public property features. The 13th annual Community Service Day, which this year coincidentally  fell on Earth Day, began at 8 am as all of the volunteers gathered in Flower Chapel.

Pennsylvania Senator Andrew Dinniman, spoke to the campus participants before the groups dispersed for the day. Dinniman is one of the Community Service Day sponsors. He said, “What you are reminding the people is that you as students, faculty and staff at Valley Forge understand the importance of civic responsibility.” He continued, “This has made a real difference in the relationship with the community. I think it’s because service can change people and it can change a community.”

Two of the 15 groups went to Reservoir Park. One of these groups, led by sophomore Jordon Diaz, spread mulch on the park’s playground area, cleared vines from the fence surrounding the park, washed the white fence next to the playground, raked leaves, and then visited four homes in the area whose owners had contacted UVF for assistance with their yard projects. The other group at Reservoir Park, known as the "Hoops Team," worked to paint the basketball backboards and court lines. Freshman Brandon Summers said, “Today shows that we care about the community with our actions, not just our words,” as he meticulously painted white court lines on the pavement.

Another student group served at the Joe Rowan Memorial Park. Students picked weeds, raked leaves, mulched and collected trash they found in and near the park. While at this park, a Phoenixville property owner approached the students and asked for help to clean up an area on his street, a block away. Without hesitation, student leader and freshman Melenis Velez, offered to send three UVF students with the property owner to help with his request. Other groups that cleaned up and beautified borough parks and streets had collected more than 20 trash bags of tree and vine debris, litter and broken glass from each of the work areas. Other students painted the gazebo at Reeves Park and visited residential homeowners who had previously contacted the university for help. 

Another Community Service Day sponsor, Charles Benz, from the Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust visited the assigned locations where students were serving. Benz has been a sponsor of UVF's Community Service Day since the first one in 2001. “I think this is great for the students. It teaches them value and the importance of serving the community,” he said. Benz also commented on the progress of the event over the past 14 years. “The first year, the students painted fire hydrants and light poles,” he said. “There are bigger undertakings every year. The students, over the years, do more and more.” For the past eight Community Service Days, Benz and Meyer have together visited the assigned locations where students serve to talk with and encourage them.  

Community Service Day also provided an opportunity for students to use their skills to serve the community. The event provided an opportunity for students to lead and motivate other students and set goals for the teams. Students also learn more about the community they live in, and meet other UVF students outside of their classes and campus activities.  

The effort this year was made possible through 14 sponsorships that provided the financial support to make UVF's Community Service Day 2015 a success.