Villanova University Partners with Greater Philadelphia Neighborhood and Community Agencies for Seventh Annual St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service

Thousands of Villanovans will join together throughout the Greater Philadelphia region Sept. 22, volunteering at more than 140 service locations

Villanova University Day of Service volunteers.

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Building upon its year-round commitment to service, the Villanova University community will partner with local service organizations and neighborhood agencies throughout the Greater Philadelphia region on Saturday, Sept. 22 in celebration of the University’s seventh-annual St. Thomas of Villanova “Day of Service.” More than 4,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families are expected to take part in projects at 140 sites ranging from serving meals and packaging food for hunger relief organizations to neighborhood clean-ups and tree plantings. One of the largest single-day service events in the region, the St. Thomas Day of Villanova Celebration honors the University’s patron saint – the 16th century Augustinian bishop of Valencia, Spain – known for his great charity to the poor and marginalized.

“The Day of Service provides an opportunity to work side-by-side with our service partners so that they can better meet the needs in their neighborhoods,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President.  “Each fall, our community comes together to support this event and build upon the wonderful partnerships that have been created throughout Greater Philadelphia. The energy and enthusiasm from this one day serves as a catalyst for the great volunteer work that our students, faculty, staff and alumni will perform throughout the year.”

"The Day of Service gives the Villanova community a chance to start the year off in the spirit of Saint Thomas of Villanova and in a way that is true to its Augustinian and Catholic roots,” Brendan Cummings, student chair of the Day of Service said. “By working together and giving up a Saturday the Villanova community is able to make a big difference to over 140 Service sites across the region that provide a variety of services to a diverse range of causes."

The St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service is just one of many ways that Villanovans reach out to meet the needs of communities near and far. Villanovans provide more than 220,000 hours of service annually in communities locally, regionally and globally. In addition to participating in weekly outreach opportunities at Philadelphia area social service and charitable organizations, Villanovans participate in a wide variety of long-term mentoring and service-break experiences as well as ongoing Habitat for Humanity projects.

This year’s St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration begins Thursday, September 20, with the annual St. Thomas of Villanova Lecture examining an important issue in today’s society through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. The 2012 lecture features Susan Dentzer, Editor-In-Chief of Health Affairs, the nation’s leading journal of health policy, and an on-air health analyst with “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Entitled “The Neediest Among Us: U.S. Health Care, The Poor and the Uninsured,” the program will be held Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Villanova Room in the Connelly Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The celebration continues Friday, September 21 with a Community Collection Day to benefit local community agencies that are partners for the Day of Service. The donation of items such as canned goods, school supplies, toiletries, baby supplies and women’s professional attire will be accepted throughout the day in the Pavilion lobby. They will be delivered the following day as part of the Day of Service.

Day of Service volunteers will depart from the Pavilion on the University’s Main Campus at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, and fan out across the Greater Philadelphia Region to work in local neighborhoods, schools, churches, community centers and other service organizations. Villanovans will also volunteer their time at 19 Main Line locations, as well as sites in Radnor Township. In addition, alumni across the country will donate time volunteering in their local areas as part of the Day of Service.

For more information regarding the 2012 St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, visit: www.villanova.edu/stvc

MEDIA: For additional information on the 2012 St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, including Day of Service sites and details, please contact the Department of Media Relations at (610) 519-5152.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.