By Danielle Garner
Honors students have to do more than earn good grades — they also have to show some altruism. On Saturday and Sunday, 720 Youngstown State University honors students volunteered during the Global Day of Service.
Volunteering projects were held at 22 organizations last weekend, including the Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity. This event helped honors college students, who must rack up 60 volunteer hours a year, and businesses benefited from the extra help.
Those who participated in the Global Day of Service logged 1,400 hours on Saturday and Sunday combined.
Patricia Sciaretta, director of Social Service at the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, said the volunteers benefit, as well as the organizations.
“A majority of people who volunteer get something out of it, and it’s all different,” Sciaretta said.
Lexi Rager, event coordinator for Global Day of Service, helped plan the event for the honors college. She coordinated the students’ volunteering efforts, and spent months getting ready for the event.
“It’s really rewarding to get people volunteering,” Rager said. “You as one person can make a difference, and it makes you want to make a difference in the community.”
This was the first year projects were being offered on both Saturday and Sunday due to the growth of the Honors College.
Jordan Zackasee, a student at YSU, led a group of volunteers at the Oh Wow! Children’s Museum. They cleaned the exhibits and helped organize and prepare for the annual Silly Science Sunday.
“They are being taught, and they don’t even know it,” Zackasee said. “Some kids don’t like to sit down in school and listen to a lecture. If they go somewhere like that, it gives them a chance to learn that.”
Victoria Silvis, a YSU student majoring in biology, led a project called Mats for Mahoning, and is working in conjunction with Rising Above the River, an organization that helps homeless people living in Youngstown.
Silvis said they were taking old plastic bags and using them to crochet cushion mats by using hooks to stitch the bags together. She said she worked on her own throughout the summer to create mats to donate to the less fortunate.
“I heard this was going on in Pittsburgh, and they have gotten a lot of success with it,” Silvis said. “I figure maybe we can get the same kind of success here.”
Silvis volunteered through her church when she was growing up, and although she feels it takes her out of her comfort zone, she finds it fulfilling.
“Hopefully this will bring more awareness to the area … and will help these individuals get through till they get to the next step of improving their lives,” Silvis said.