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📷 Students walking along Aj's Way

GIVE Day Celebrates 15 Years of Service to Others

GIVE Day, 2012, SammiePosted: September 17, 2012

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 -- Gannon University’s 15th annual GIVE Day was one to remember, thanks to the dedicated work of some 1,000 Gannon students, faculty, staff and alumni locally and nationally.

The students, faculty, staff and alumni strengthened their respective communities through their participation in GIVE (Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere) Day. The volunteers, to include Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., volunteered for a number of local agencies and organizations and for projects like the International Coastal Cleanup.

In addition, a major, and new, focus of this year’s GIVE Day was planting 130 trees within the University’s Erie-GAINS neighborhood. The “TreeVitalize” project alone involved nearly 200 Gannon students.

Valuable support for the project was provided by the City of Erie’s arborist, Sarah Galloway, the City of Erie Bureau of Fire and Pennsylvania Army National Guard, HHC 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry in Cambridge Springs. The guard members helped with watering the trees after they had been planted.

In terms of planting their trees, students and other volunteers worked in small teams, first digging the holes carefully and then making sure the trees were planted properly and secure. “The TreeVitalize project took months of advance preparation and considerable support from the community, local residents and the many partners who helped make it so successful,” said Gretchen Fairley, Gannon’s director of Service-Learning. “It’s extremely exciting to think that the efforts of the TreeVitalize volunteers will positively impact the community for many years to come.”

The trees, provided to the homeowners at no cost, will have many benefits:

  • Increase property values
  • Slow vehicle traffic in residential neighborhoods
  • Improve pedestrian traffic in commercial zones
  • Sequester carbon so as to reduce greenhouse gases and pollutants, resulting in cleaner and healthier air
  • Transform and give new life to barren areas
  • Provide shade and cooling during warm summer months
  • Create a sense of calm and serenity that has been linked to reduced crime
  • Provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife

In addition to TreeVitalize, GIVE Day volunteers served numerous local agencies and organizations, including Asbury Woods Nature Center, Bayfront East Side Taskforce, Bayfront Maritime Center, Booker T. Washington Center, Brevillier Village, Catholic Charities, Environment Erie, Erie Art Museum, Erie Downtown Partnership, Erie Family Center for Child Development, Erie Homes for Children and Adults, Erie Playhouse, ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum, Friends of Gridley Park, Gannon Nursing Center at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments, Habitat for Humanity, Housing and Neighborhood Development Service (HANDS), House of Mercy, L’Arche, Martin Luther King Center, Perry Square Alliance, SafeNet, Salvation Army, Second Harvest Food Bank, Sisters of St. Joseph and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

To see numerous photos of the Gannon volunteers in action during GIVE Day, please visit the University’s Facebook page.