Saint Joseph’s University students are pairing up with organizations throughout the Overbrook community in order to build stronger relationships with fellow residents.
“As with any university, there is some tension between students and the community,” Eric Spector, director of Global Community Day and senior at Saint Joseph’s, said. “We hope that having positive experiences will make students more respectful and more active in the community and in turn, the community will understand that students have good intentions.”
Students donate their time to the Free Library of Philadelphia at Overbrook, Morris Park Civic Association and neighboring elementary schools.
Every week university students spend time tutoring at Gompers Elementary School and helping staff at the Overbrook Library.
“At the Overbrook Library there are computer classes for senior citizens,” Spector said. “ We’ve been helping at the library to make renovations too.”
The university’s largest day of service is Global Community Day on April 20th. Community Day is a day of service throughout the Overbrook community which is funded by university allocations, offerings at mass and yearly membership fees.
These volunteer efforts by students aim to be mutually beneficial for volunteers as well as the community.
“It started as a day to bring campus together,” Spector said. “I think most students at Saint Joseph’s want to get immersed in service, that’s when you learn the most about yourself and give the most back to the people you’re serving.”