Experience with the Day of Service

Louie Ravanelli, Contributing Writer

On Aug 19, the freshman class of 2023 gathered around the Mary Garden for the school’s annual Day of Service.

Each year, hundreds of freshmen students and faculty go out into the surrounding community of Erie and participate in what we call the Day of Service.

Community service has been an integral piece of Mercyhurst’s core values, set forth by the founding Sisters of Mercy.

I think it’s great that Mercyhurst keeps these principles alive.

My Day of Service, despite seeming odd at first, embodied the spirit of the event more than I expected.

After we were all gathered together, the freshman class then proceeded to board their assigned bus.

Each group ventured out to a designated location, all spread across the Erie region.

Looking at the fleet of buses going out helped solidify the importance of this day in my mind.

On this day, Mercyhurst students get to give back to their city and community in a way they often don’t get to do.

My group was assigned to downtown Erie.

The job description included mulching and weeding along State Street.

What we actually did however, was make scarecrows.

After getting dropped off, we met with our administrator.

When we found her, she told us that, instead of mulching and weeding, we were going to make scarecrows.

I looked around and saw my fellow classmates a little confused, myself included.

Throughout the making of our scarecrows, there was laughing, pictures being taken and faces of disgust of some when evaluating their scarecrows.

When I prepared to do my Day of Service, this wasn’t what I was expecting.

The last step was to name our scarecrow.

My scarecrow’s name was Elton John because I thought he resembled him.

As we left, the administrator showered us with praise.

I was astounded by how thankful and excited she was at the sight of all the scarecrows.

She explained to us that these scarecrows will be displayed downtown for a fall fest in the city.

She also invited us to her fall fest and gave us flyers with information regarding the date.

All of a sudden, the work I’d been doing really clicked into place.

Even if it had seemed odd at first, the work I had done for my community was meaningful.

As we were on our way back, I was so happy to know that she was pleased with our somewhat creative inventions.

Not knowing anything about the city of Erie before I arrived at Mercyhurst, I felt more connected to the surrounding Erie county after this service project.

That’s one of the great things about the Day of Service, it helps connect you to the community outside of Mercyhurst.

I felt like our team really helped to contribute to the beauty of Erie.

I hope I can continue to contribute and connect with all of the local residents of Erie in the future.

I especially hope that the Class of 2023 can continue to reach out a helping hand to anyone who needs it.

This Day of Service can be a stepping stone to something bigger.

I am happy that Mercyhurst gave me the opportunity to enjoy this experience.

My own personal goal is now to take the lead and seek volunteer opportunities to contribute to the Erie community that we live in.

As 1 Peter 4:10 states, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”