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Service & Volunteer Work

It's said that charity begins at home. That's especially true here at our DeSales home, where our students participate in 24,000+ hours of service.

Through the Center for Service and Social Justice (CSSJ), students serve the local, national, and international communities via service projects. It’s here that the mission of DeSales and the philosophy of Christian humanism come alive. Projects can take a few minutes or a few weeks. Giving blood. Tutoring kids or visiting the elderly. Building homes stateside for a families in need. Heading out with Feed the Children to develop sustainable food security in Central and South America to working with the Sisters of Charity in Kolkata, India. There are lots and lots of opportunities to explore for these wonderfully rewarding and educational experiences.

Service from the Start
The Class of 2022—with an expected 512 students—participated in its first service project, just one day after moving onto campus.

The newest Bulldogs chose from four different projects, including transforming plastic bags into plarn mats for the homeless.

“They can put [the mats] over their sleeping bags to protect from the rain or on the floor as mats or beds,” says Majenneh Kennedy ’22. “I think it’s really cool because this is something I do at my church all the time.”

Summer Hinton ’22 is also no stranger to service. She helped to make reusable feminine hygiene products, which will be donated to the Sisters of Charity in Kolkata, India. 

“I am really glad that service is part of it,” Hinton says. “I always got involved with my church back home so I’m glad I can do it here too.”

Students also made decorations and games for the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Eastern Fall Sectional, which will be held on the DeSales campus on October 14, and they made flash cards, gifts, and welcome back banners for local schools where DeSales students tutor. 

How did we get to 24,000+ hours of service?

  • Service Clubs&Orgs: Best Buddies, Colleges Against Cancer, Rise Against Hunger, Alpha Phi Omega
  • Alternative Service Experiences: National/Global trips during each break
  • One-time service projects: Habitat builds, Miracle League, Victory House
  • Consistent Sustainable tutoring and mentoring programs
  • AmeriCorps VISTA focusing on community health programs
  • Character U and DeSales Experience commitment to service
  • Allow for student empowerment

CSSJ Leave a Legacy

...while it is easy to measure the number of dishes washed or beds made, who can measure the smiles exchanged or the words of gratitude from volunteer to patient and patient to volunteer? I cannot measure the effects and connections made through basic human interaction...

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Dorothy Day Student Center