Incoming freshmen give back to Scranton non-profits

Nearly 40 students arrive early to volunteer

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - It is now the middle of August and that means many college students are heading back to school.

Dozens of incoming freshmen at the University of Scranton have arrived a little early in order to make a difference in the city they will call home.

For the last 15 years, the University of Scranton has offered a select group of students interested in community service the opportunity to move-in early.

On Tuesday, members of the Class of 2021 got their chance to start making a difference.

Roughly 40 students are spending the week volunteering at several non-profits like the United Neighborhood Centers Belleview facility.

"I love to do service. Service has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember," Elisa Palmieri of Connecticut said.

Members of the Class of 2021 spent Tuesday helping with children's summer programs, but maybe just as important, they are learning what types of volunteer activities are available in their new home.

"If you ask anybody about the students at Scranton, they always say they're very involved in the town and things like that so I think everybody wants more than just their education but also experience," Taylor Roman of New York said.

While leaving home for college can be intimidating for any freshman, this program helps the students as well.

"That was a big part of this, the program, is that you get to meet new people before you're even in college," John Fimmano of Connecticut said.

Besides helping out at the United Neighborhood Centers, the students will also be spending part of the week with the Friends of the Poor food pantry and a local soup kitchen.

Many non-profits in Scranton say they rely on volunteers, including university students, to keep their doors open.

The director of the UNC Belleview Center hopes many of these new students will return during the semester.

"We can't survive without them. Our kids look forward to seeing them. They get to meet different people," director Margaret Adolfson said.

Each year, the University of Scranton says more than 2,800 of its students take part in some type of community service.

When you add it all up, that means more than 170,000 total service hours.

 


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