Gannon Gives Back: Nearly 80,000 Hours

Gannon Gives Back: Nearly 80,000 HoursPosted: October 4, 2011

Gannon University continues to give back.

Students, faculty and staff contributed 79,585 hours of volunteer service during the 2010-11 Academic Year to the City of Erie and to communities nationally and internationally.

“I’m extremely proud of the University’s continued commitment to serving its neighbors,” said Keith Taylor, Ph.D., president of Gannon University. “Our Erie-GAINS program is now well established and gaining momentum and will allow us to strengthen our focus on urban development and supporting our city neighborhood on many levels.”

The majority of the University’s service hours, 66,655, were provided by students, while faculty and staff contributed nearly 13,000 hours. The hours are classified in several categories:

  • Community service – More than 20,000 hours; includes “one-time” service events such as GIVE Day (Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere) and alternative break service trips as well as long-term tutoring and mentoring programs involving local school children. In March, more than 40 students elected to forego a traditional spring break and devoted the week to service in Immokalee, Fla., New Orleans, New York City and Honduras. And, tutoring offered to students in the Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) neighborhood increased by more than 1,000 hours during the 2010-11 Academic Year. The Erie-GAINS neighborhood is bordered by Presque Isle Bay to the north, Parade Street to the east, 11th Street to the south and the Bayfront Parkway to the west. Gannon’s Greek organizations organized a number of philanthropic activities, and Gannon’s campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity participated in numerous construction days.
  • Service-learning – More than 29,000 hours; involves service work and projects with a direct link to students’ coursework. As an example, students developed an integrated marketing campaign for the Erie Downtown Arts and Culture Coalition (EDACC). Gannon’s physical therapy program (4,393) and criminal justice program (3,154) contributed the most hours among the University’s academic departments. Earlier this year, students in the criminal justice program collected and donated more than 800 books to the Erie County Prison’s library and to the Erie Family Center in an effort to help incarcerated parents read to their children. Also, nursing students held health fairs at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments and at Glenwood Elementary School, Grover Cleveland Elementary School, Strong Vincent High School and Central Tech Career and Technical School.
  • Federal work-study – Includes nearly 19,000 hours. Federal work-study is a form of financial aid whereby students work for a stipend. Students served a number of local organizations, including the Erie Art Museum, Erie County Adult Probation Office, the Watson-Curtze Mansion and the Erie County Department of Health.
  • “Other” – More than 11,000 hours; includes the efforts of Gannon’s Science in Motion program, which serves local schools and teachers, and the Gannon University Support Staff Association (GUSSA), which organizes clothing drives for women looking to transition back into the workplace. GUSSA also raises money for the American Cancer Society, among its numerous charitable causes.

More about Gannon University’s contributions:

In 2010, Independent Sector valued volunteer service at $21.36 per hour. Based on that rate, Gannon’s service hours are valued at nearly $1.7 million.

Beyond the hours Gannon invested in strengthening communities, the University also made more than $146,000 in direct financial contributions to individuals, agencies and organizations locally and nationally. The money was raised for the United Way of Erie County and WQLN, among other organizations, and through events such as the Gannon University Relay for Life.

In addition, students and faculty and staff donated to the community thousands of items ranging from sporting goods to prom dresses.