A group of 100 people from Villa Maria dedicated Saturday, October 5 to living out one of the College’s core values: solidarity with the poor. Students from all academic years and majors, and faculty and staff gathered at various locations around Buffalo to perform full day of volunteer work.
The service day was held as part of the College’s Heritage Days, which is an annual series of events that commemorate those who founded the College, the Felician Sisters. Heritage Days also serve as an opportunity for the Villa community to reflect on the core values that drive everything done at the College.
Students participated in a variety of volunteer activities, in a variety of locations throughout the Buffalo area, including:
- 716 Ministries
- Bailey Avenue Business Association
- Buffalo City Mission Store Goodwill Industries Store
- New Generation Ministries Church
- Our Lady of Black Rock School
- Saint Columba-Brigid Church
- Seneca/Babcock Senior Center
- Vincent de Paul Center
- Little Portion Friary Homeless Shelter
- Luke’s Mission of Mercy
“The Service Day at Villa Maria College enabled our students to live out our Franciscan Mission and more specifically our core value of solidarity with the poor,” said Dr. Donald Monnin, Villa’s vice president for mission. “We hope the participants took away from this experience the realization that while the tasks they performed that day may seem menial, they have a collective impact. It shows the community and the agencies we served that we care and want to make the world a better place. We hope to inspire our students and staff to be more like Saint Francis of Assisi by living a more simple life, be grateful for what you have and remember that service to others gives life meaning, purpose and true joy.”
In total, the 100 members of the Villa Community that participated in the College’s first Day of Service completed 600 hours of volunteer work in just one day.
Haley Forrest, a freshman studying integrated arts at Villa, spent the Day of Service painting rooms at the Seneca-Babcock Community Center. By the end of the day, she was exhausted and covered in paint, but was happy to have had the opportunity to serve alongside her classmates. “The Day of Service was really good,” she said. “It’s important to get out of your comfort zone and contribute to the community you live in.”
To see more photos from the Day of Service, visit the College’s Flickr page: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHA31YK.