Student volunteers from Villa Maria College recently joined with Saint Bonaventure University to help launch the first International Service Day in late March. Students, faculty and other volunteers donated their time and services to provide much needed assistance at numerous sites throughout the city of Buffalo. Volunteers worked at more than 10 sites throughout the city including Bethel Head Start, Inc.; the Bob Lanier Center for Educational, Physical, and Cultural Development; Kevin Guest House; Moving Miracles, Inc.; Buffalo Reuse Inc.; The Food Bank of WNY; The Franciscan Center; Vive La Casa Shelter and others. The day’s activities included painting, landscaping and other handiwork to help maintain vital facilities benefitting families, youth, the disabled and refugees in Western New York. Volunteer efforts were expected to span 30 sites and more than 10 countries with interactive coverage available on Twitter and Facebook.
“The day is based on the simple belief that every person can make a positive difference,” said Kim Kotz, PT, DPT, Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education for Villa Maria College’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Kotz leads the College’s volunteer group, Villa Volunteers.
Villa Volunteers is a group comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Villa Maria College. Over the last year, the group has participated in such charitable activities as Extreme Home Makeover Buffalo, a “sleep out” to raise awareness of the homeless, providing assistance to flood victims in the local community of Gowanda, NY, and collecting monies and donations of crutches and canes to benefit victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The College also operates the Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry and in conjunction with the Food Bank of Western New York, serves students, alumni and members of the local community.