University of Valley Forge Serves Phoenixville Community

by Sarah Cushing - Office of Marketing | May 11, 2016
Community Service Day 2016
Spring at the University of Valley Forge (UVF) means more than sunny weather, water ice outings and final classroom assignments. Spring means another opportunity to be good neighbors and care for the surrounding Phoenixville community. On April 13, 2016, students, faculty and staff participated in the 14th annual Community Service Day, a day UVF loves its neighbors not just with words but also with actions.

The day began in Flower Chapel that morning where students, faculty and staff divided into 14 groups, each with a designated area to serve. Long-time supporter of Community Service Day and UVF, Pennsylvania Senator Andrew Dinniman encouraged the students to work together and serve the community not just today but wherever they go in the future. UVF President Don Meyer shared that this would be his last Community Service Day as president, due to his earlier retirement announcement, and motivated the seniors to make the most out of their final Community Service Day as he would. “We do this for two reasons: because it is the right thing to do to serve our community, and we hope that doing something like this will be sown into your soul that will cause you to want to do that wherever you are placed after you graduate,” Meyer said. 

White and blue UVF vans drove around Phoenixville stopping downtown, in neighborhoods and parks where Community Service Day participants completed various projects. Some groups stopped by businesses downtown and simply asked if they could serve in any way. Students served at Bridge Street Chocolates, Soltane Bridges Cafe & Bakery and Orion Communities Inc. Students swept the street, cleaned up outside areas and washed windows. Tyler Logan, a senior in the Psychology – Counseling program, participated in his fourth and last Community Service Day as a student. He has learned that missions does not only refer to traveling someplace new. “Missions starts at home — with our own community,” he said.

Other groups visited residential homes and helped with yard projects. While members of the community contacted the university to ask for help with home projects, one Phoenixville homeowner had not heard of Community Service Day before. But on Wednesday she saw a group of students with orange shirts holding rakes walking down the street and asked what they were doing. When the students explained their voluntary community service, she asked for assistance in her yard. Those students went to her yard and helped her rake leaves and clean up the area for her spring flowers. Afterward, she prayed with them and thanked them.

Students also went to local parks and spread new mulch on the playgrounds, raked leaves and collected trash in and around the parks. Alyssa David, a sophomore in the Youth Studies program, served as team leader this year because of the enthusiasm her previous Community Service Day leaders served with last year. “My passion is to be the hands and feet of God whether it’s by picking up trash, or giving them a smile to show them that God loves them and cares about our community,” she said.

One of the Community Service Day sponsors from the beginning, Charles Benz from the Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust, drove with Meyer around the community, stopping to say hello and thank you to every student serving the community. He noted that every year students impress him with how much they accomplished in the community in just one day. 

The University of Valley Forge would like to thank this year’s Community Service Day sponsors for their support and donations that helped make another year a success! 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, Pertucci’s, Ray “The Snack Man,” Phoenixville Community Health Foundation and Senator Andrew Dinniman.