A Lycoming College student helps a homeowner with raking and yard work.
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Raking, planting, power washing, and painting were among the tasks easily dispatched by Lycoming College students to help area residents living with unexpected and life-changing hardships to complete their spring cleaning.
The volunteers, which included individuals as well as members of Lycoming’s football, cross country, volleyball, and women’s soccer teams, helped dozens of residents for several hours the morning of April 16. They were joined by members of the St. John’s Methodist Church in Newberry, Pa. and students from Penn College.
“Having to use a walker to get around limits what I can do. Five boys from Lycoming College came with rakes and bags in hand to clean up my yard,” said Mrs. D, a Favors Forward client. “Tree limbs, leaves, and debris were everywhere. They filled about 30 bags and hauled them away. They were wonderful boys and I am grateful for all the work. Thank you seems to be so little a reward.”
When the work was done, students said goodbye with a smile or a note that was as well-received as the extra set of hands, according to one client: “Someone left a sweet little note saying they hoped their efforts helped and to have a lovely day. It was such a nice surprise.”
Steve Wiser, assistant football coach, helped organize the event along with Jeff LeCrone, director of Spiritual Life and Community Service. Athletic Director Mike Clark, and the college’s former football coach Frank Girardi also joined the students. The college supported the event by providing tools, gloves and other equipment to students.
Spring Clean Up Day is sponsored by the Favors Forward Foundation annually. The organization pairs groups of college volunteers with senior citizens, handicapped individuals and other local residents who need help. Wiser is a member of the non-profit’s board of trustees.
Learn more about what the day meant to all involved from the following quotes from clients and volunteers.
Favors Forward was a great opportunity to give back to the community, and it was a nice service event to participate in as a cross country team. It turned out to be a beautiful day for yard work, and it was rewarding to see the progress we were able to make and the gratitude of those we were serving. I look forward to volunteering again next year!
—Abigail O’Connor, cross country runner
To me, community service means a great deal. Being able to go into the Williamsport area to help out and complete projects for citizens gives you a great feeling. The community supports our students, clubs and athletes, so helping them out is a thank you to those of the community!
Ever since coming on to the football team, I have heard about the community service project in the spring and how much fun it is to spend time together as a team and a community. The people that we were able to help were so incredibly thankful. Seeing the smiles on the people’s faces makes all the work well worth it.
— Dominic Loffredo
I was extremely impressed with the manner in which these students approached this task. The homeowners were extremely appreciative of what these college kids accomplished for them. It was a pleasure for me to be associated in this fine endeavor that was so well organized. It was truly a “feel good” day.
—Frank Girardi, former football coach
The work that is done definitely makes a difference, but I think there is a bigger benefit. The interactions with the homeowners that we’re able to help is the best part. Just having a chance to get out and give back to a community that has been so supportive of our athletic programs for a long time is what really makes the day special.
—Mike Clark, athletic director
Getting involved and interacting with people in the surrounding areas was a great way to connect with what Lycoming can offer people in our community, and we enjoyed learning about those we helped. Having a day where teammates, coaches, and Lycoming students can take a break from practice, homework, and studying to help others is a priceless experience. Volunteering not only adds to the tremendous character of an average Lycoming student, but amplifies the tradition and need to work together to achieve greatness. Upholding these great attributes is our duty as a college and a proud sponsor of this strong community.
—Danny Heinrichs, football team member
Community service to me has meant the opportunity to give back to the citizens who support our team. The same people that have been in the stands anywhere from a few years to a few decades are the ones that need our help and support for a change. The stories I have been told are memorable and often make me take a step back to appreciate what these fans do for us. They are an essential component to our success on the field, so being an essential component to assist their daily lives is the very least we can do.
— Austin Mital
I have been a part of this community service opportunity for two years now and I can honestly say it is a privilege to be a part of it. This is something that we look forward to every year and it is a way of giving back to the community that supports us. Since I am a local guy from Loyalsock, it means a lot to me to have the opportunity to help those in need in my home town. It really is special to see how appreciative and grateful everyone is — they just light up when we come around — that makes us very proud of what we are doing. I know it means a lot to them but it also means a lot to our team and our college.
— Caleb Robbins
Five football players worked as a team and didn’t stop till we called them to take a break. We didn’t hear any grumbling about the tasks they were assigned and they laughed and chatted while they worked. They hauled two truckloads of stone and a truckload of mulch. They lifted and reset sidewalk stones. They mixed peat moss, sand, and top soil and planted 16 blueberry plants. My husband and I just want to thank everyone involved in sponsoring this project to serve the community. We are grateful and were blessed by these young men and by Lycoming College where they attend school. A job well done guys! Bless you!
—Mrs. H, A Favors Forward client
The Favor’s Forward ‘Spring Cleanup Day’ was part of a big day of community service for Lycoming College students. In addition to the work done at area homes, we had students helping to beautify Brandon Park, a fraternity running a 5k to aid the Alzheimer’s Association, members of Habitat for Humanity working on a house build, and students in a political science class helping with a fundraiser for ACES. When I realized that the Spring Cleanup was going to happen on the same day as all those other events, I worried that we would not have enough volunteers to go around, but as is often the case, the Lycoming students came through in huge numbers. It truly was a great day for Lycoming College to give back to the community.
—Jeffrey LeCrone, director of Spiritual Life and Community Service
Lycoming football players helped a couple with planting bushes.
One group of volunteers paints a shed for a resident.
Yard work was the most popular request for help among those served by Favors Forward.
One group of students poses for a photo before dispersing to various homes to help.
Lycoming College students performed hundreds of tasks with a smile and cheerful disposition.