Hundreds of Seton Hill students volunteer in honor of Martin Luther King
A lot of college students might have woken up Saturday, saw the temperatures outside dipped to the low teens, rolled over and hit the snooze button. But that was the furthest thing from Seton Hill University junior Molly Carbone’s mind.
“No way. I love doing carpentry, and I really love to help people,” said Carbone, 20.
Carbone was among a dozen other students from the Greensburg university lending a hand installing dry wall at an ongoing Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity home renovation project along Long Street, just outside of South Greensburg in
It was all part of the “Take the Day On” tradition that began at Seton Hill in 2000 to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and commitment to service. It will include an educational program on the late Dr. King on Monday, according to Marissa Haines, the university’s coordinator for service outreach.
In all, Haines said 180 students performed volunteer services at about 20 locations for service and community agencies, county and municipal parks and a Unity recycling center.
In addition to Habitat for Humanity, students volunteered at the Animal Friends of Westmoreland County facility in Youngwood, the Christian Layman and St. Vincent DePaul Thrift stores in Greensburg, Stoneybrook Therapeutic Riding Center in Acme and St. Emma’s Monastery and YWCA, both in Greensburg, to name a few.
“One of our biggest hopes is that students learn the importance of serving the community. Not only serving, but reflecting on it when they come back to campus,” Haines said.
“They also learn about issues and what these organizations deal with. They experience how they can impact Westmoreland County and be a person of change.”
Although Carbone and another junior, Jordan Mayers, a graphic design major from New Park, York County, were working for the first time at the local habitat project, they emphasized neither of them are novices in carpentry.
“I build theater sets,” Carbone of Allentown said as students carried dry wall into the drafty house.
“In January, a group of us spent a week in Virginia building a ‘Habitat’ house there. This is my favorite part of the semester: helping out in the community,” Mayers added.
Meanwhile, about four miles away at the St. Vincent DePaul store in downtown Greensburg, 27-year-old university student Jessica Uhring was helping three Seton Hill staff members sort and tag donated clothing.
A senior, Uhring, a business administration major, said her schedule worked out so she could participate in this year’s volunteer project before she graduates in May.
“I really enjoy helping out, and I think it’s important to give something back to the community,” Uhring said.
St. Vincent DePaul’s store president, Bernie Moffa, said the participating organizations can all use a helping hand.
“This is such a great thing. They get to see what people give us, what we offer here, and help the community, too,” Moffa said.
“Hopefully, they’ll come back.”
Ronald DiBiase, director at the local Habitat for Humanity, agreed.
“We appreciate help whenever we can get it,” DiBiase said. “Especially in cold weather like this.
“Sometimes the volunteers disappear when it’s cold, but not today,” he said.
DiBiase said the organization has been working on the house since October and hopes to finish it by late April.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.