Villanova students clean up streets

PHILADELPHIA - September 19, 2009 Forget about hitting the books, today an army of Villanova students picked up brooms and shovels and headed to the streets of Southwest Philadelphia to clean up the garbage littering the streets.

"It's early. I did not want to wake up this morning, I really didn't, but I figured this is a good way to spend my Saturday, helping people out," student Richard Edwards said.

The cleanup is part of Villanova's annual Day of Service where students, faculty, staff and alumni volunteer their time to honor St. Thomas, the university's patron saint.

"To volunteer, to be part of the community, and to just give back. So I really want to be a part of that and I think like half our school's here," student Noelle Polce said.

"It's good to leave that sort of sheltered environment and come out here and try to be helpful in the community," student Alex Capuco said.

This day of service started in 2006 with 1,500 volunteers and 3 years later that number has more than doubled as literally thousands of Villanovans offer their time.

"We need to be aware that part of our responsibility in putting our words in action is go out and give back to other people," Villanova University President, Peter Donohue, said.

The area block captain, Tracey Gordon, was thrilled with the cleanup.

Villanova volunteers spread out to 115 different locations, including Fairmount Park. That's where another crew of students spent the day hauling out debris and planting new trees.

"For us freshmen, this is our first couple weeks here and kind of being a part of the community, it's nice to be able to help other people," student Alyssa Spratte said.

Students say that's one of the most important lessons they're learning at Villanova.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.