First Posted: 9/2/2014
Though a steady rain greeted more than 500 Misericordia University students, faculty and staff for the Fourth annual Orientation Day of Service on Aug. 23, it did not dampen the enthusiasm of first-year and transfer students for learning and living the university’s mission of providing service to others in need.
The 446 first-year students and 103 transfer students participated in service work at eight locations in the Back Mountain, including the Back Mountain Trail, Blue Chip Farms, Camp Orchard Hill, Frances Slocum State Park, Luzerne County Fairgrounds, Meadows Nursing Center, Mercy Center and The Lands at Hillside Farms. Students and their faculty and staff chaperones were tasked with painting, shoveling, repairing, sprucing up and also simply being a shoulder to lean on for others.
At The Lands at Hillside Farms, for instance, students picked up shovels and rakes to clean out barns in preparation for the fall and winter seasons. They used gas-powered log splitters on stumps and then stacked the wood.
Residents of Mercy Center and Meadows Nursing Center received more visitors and attention than they are accustomed to normally as the students visited with them one-on-one and participated in bingo and other activities.
These service opportunities are more important than ever this year, as Misericordia celebrates its 90th anniversary. The Religious Sisters of Mercy established the first four-year institution of higher education in Luzerne County in 1924 based on the tenets of Mercy, Service, Justice and Hospitality.
Community Outreach at Misericordia University organized the volunteer activities for the 500 strong volunteers and split them into morning and afternoon sessions. At the end of the day, it was clear that the goal of the annual event was well received.