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Service Saturdays Help Students Give Where They Live

September 22, 2016

“Give where you live.” That’s the motto of St. John Fisher College’s Service Saturdays initiative. Now in its second year, the program is designed to encourage members of the Fisher community to lend a hand at local nonprofits for the first six Saturdays of the semester.

Fisher students participate in Service Saturdays.

Senior Alexandra Hristodoulou, a Service Scholar who spent the morning of Saturday, Sept. 17, weeding and gardening around the Friendly Home, said one of the program’s benefits is that it shows students they can make a difference.

Senior Alexandra Hristodoulou poses with fellow students participating in Service Saturdays.

“Volunteer projects are a large part of our culture here at Fisher,” Hristodoulou said. “They allow us to connect with the Greater Rochester community and form larger connections within our own Fisher family. Helping the community through simple tasks alongside fellow Fisher students is fun and fulfilling, and it allows us to interact with students that we also would not have met otherwise.”

A second group of volunteers participated in the 31st annual New York State Beach Cleanup, picking up trash and refuse along the shores of Durand Eastman Beach. One week earlier, a group had spent three hours at Foodlink, sorting food that would be distributed to area food pantries.

First Generation Scholar Berina Ajanovic, who has been to both Service Saturdays this semester, said she found the experience enjoyable and plans to participate in additional events.

“It was nice knowing I could give back to the community while spending time with my volunteer team,” she said. “I think it's important for students to volunteer because it allows us to see different situations in life. It allows us to open up our minds and help other people who are in need.”

Upcoming projects include volunteering at Foodlink and during Willow Domestic Violence Center’s Walk a Mile event at Ontario Beach Park, cleaning up Mt. Hope Cemetery, and working the biannual Household Sale to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester.

For more information about volunteering or to sign up, visit Fisher’s Service Saturdays webpage.