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Wildcats Give Back to the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration
Athletic Director Mark Jackson with men's basketball players prepping meals.
Sept. 29, 2016

Villanova, Pa. -

St. Thomas of Villanova was known for his great charity to the poor and marginalized; a great sentiment that many young Wildcats took to heart as they celebrated the university’s patron saint and his legacy with a day of service and volunteering around the city of Philadelphia.

18 different teams including over 5,000 alumni, students, and faculty joined together on September 24, 2016 to give back to Greater Philadelphia on the 11th Annual St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service Celebration.

Allison Venella, Director of Student Athlete Development helped organize this special day for Villanova student-athletes. “I am so proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff for rolling up their sleeves and serving in so many ways during the 11th annual Day of Service.  Throughout the weekend our volunteers made 5,000 volunteer sandwiches, packaged 10,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now, wrote donation letters for Joy of Soxx, painted, cleaned, organized, dug, raked, picked-up trash and more between Villanova and Philadelphia and beyond at one of the 145 Service Sites. Their display of enthusiasm and spirit was infectious as they spent their Saturday in our local community helping those in need.”

This was an annual day for Emmanuel “Manny” Morris, former student-athlete at Villanova University who also participated in the Day of Service, now as an alum. Morris was a member of the baseball team. In the past years, the baseball team just did work on their field at Plymouth Meeting, but this year, was the first year the team actually went out to a specific place in the community. “It felt good to finally have the opportunity to go out in the community to fully participate in Day of Service with the team. As a student-athlete I feel like we all have a responsibility to donate our time and talents to others in need. Personally I love giving back and taking time to help others around me. Even though the day can be long, it is still a fun one spent with your teammates and allows us to reflect on how blessed we are with the opportunity we are given to play college athletics at a great academic institution. Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat. #AlwaysReppin’” said Morris.


 

 

Athletic Director Mark Jackson participated in his first day of service this year. “The St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service and so much of what Villanova represents is symbolic of community. This event is unlike any other that I’ve been around. It draws every corner of campus together in a very powerful way to help so many."

Among the participation from Villanova student-athletes, together they served 1,338 hours of community service.

This 11th annual event builds upon the great service performed throughout the year by the Villanova community and exists as a unique way to put its Augustinian ideals into action.

Below is a list of Villanova’s teams who took part in this special day.

Villanova Teams                          Service Site: Service Site Name

VU Women’s Soccer                     Stop Hunger Now

VU Field Hockey                           Joy of Soxx

VU Men’s Basketball                     Stop Hunger Now

VU Men’s Cross Country                Stop Hunger Now

VU Volleyball                                Joy of Soxx

VU Cheerleading                           City Teams International/Hopes Café

VU Women’s Basketball                 Bache Martin Elementary School

VU Baseball                                  Centro San Jose /St. Alice Rectory & Church

VU Softball                                   Day of Service prep work

VU Men’s Lacrosse                        Lamberton Elementary School

VU Women’s Cross Country           Providence Animal Shelter

VU Women’s Water Polo                St. David’s Church

VU Women’s Rowing                     St. Madeline Parish, Ridley Park

VU Track and Field                        The Farm at Bartram’s Garden

VU Swimming & Diving                  Neighborhood Watch at 5500 West Thompson Street in Philadelphia

 

The above teams did volunteer work ranging from rolling up their sleeves and making 5,000 volunteer sandwiches, packaging 10,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now, wrote donation letters for Joy of Soxx, painted, cleaned, organized, dug, raked, picked-up trash and more between Villanova and Philadelphia and beyond at one of the 145 Service Sites.

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