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When they arrived, the center was setting up for a ceremony for fathers who completed the parenting class. The students helped out in other areas, with half inside cleaning workspaces for upcoming classes and the rest leveled mulch in the playground and raked the community garden. Afterward, they worked the buffet line at the “Fathers’ Celebration,” serving Italian food and celebrating with the entire Forestdale community.

Once the work was done, the St. John’s students ate at the center and reflected on the day. They also spoke to the Forestdale leaders, expressed how much they enjoyed the day of service, and requested the center reach out to the Society whenever they had volunteer needs—an offer that Forestdale took the students up on a couple months later.

Members of the St. John’s Society chapter returned to Forestdale in December to wrap holiday presents for the children the center serves. Society members were joined by other St. John’s students, students from neighboring high schools, and some adult volunteers. In all, hundreds of gifts were wrapped, and some members even helped decorate the Forestdale Christmas tree.

The group enjoyed wrapping, singing Christmas carols, and lifting the spirits of everyone around them. The chapter is looking forward to partnering with Forestdale again in the future.

Congratulations to the St. John’s University Society Chapter for organizing and carrying out two great events. If your chapter is hosting an extraordinary event for your members, we encourage you to share your story with us by emailing the details and pictures to You may see your chapter featured in a future newsletter!

Lead Text: 
Dressed in white shirts that read, “What a Difference a Day Can Make,” a group of 10 students from the St. John’s University Society chapter hopped onto a bus last Fall, not sure of what to expect, but excited to make a difference. The group traveled to Forestdale Inc., a center that supports families by offering school programs, parenting classes, and medical services. And what started as a one-day volunteering activity ended up turning into a lasting partnership.
Blog Categories: 
B. Pasapane
Post Date: 
Monday, May 11, 2015