Students donate time, make a difference at APO’s Day of Service

On Sunday April 1, coed national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega hosted a Day of Service in the College Union Ballroom and around the Geneseo campus.

“The vision for Day of Service was to bring people together across the campus and across the community through service,” said junior Jackie Vetrano, chair of the committee for the event.

“This is the first time Geneseo has ever seen anything like this,” Vetrano said. She added that over 200 people signed up for the 10 service projects offered.

“We have people from our campus, we have faculty and staff, we have people coming through our alumni organization, through Alpha Phi Omega, and we also have brothers from different [APO] chapters coming to Geneseo to participate.”

The main focus of APO is community service, and each member of the organization is required to do at least 24 hours of community service each semester.

“We actually do something like this in my hometown through my temple,” said sophomore APO member Missy Vetrano. “It’s called Mitzvah Day.”

“I think it’s cool that, even though I can’t do it at home because I’m at college, I still get to participate in the same kind of thing here,” she said.

The Day of Service began in the College Union Ballroom, where adjunct English professor Glenn McClure gave a keynote speech. McClure examined his own journey toward finding the reasons for volunteering. He also asked the Day of Service attendees to think about their own reasons for why they participate in service.

“Whether you’re out there putting food together at the food pantry, or whether you’re making part of the campus a little bit more beautiful than it was yesterday, all of those jobs count, and all of those jobs make us better,” McClure said.

“[They] force us to get out of our success-oriented minds here at Geneseo for a couple hours to spend some time with some new people making our lives and our campus just a little bit better than it was yesterday,” he said.

Participants then scattered across town and campus to do various service projects scheduled for the day, including waxing the University Police’s squad cars and working at the food pantry setup at the Geneseo Interfaith Center with the help of Foodlink and Wegmans.

Others participated in the 1,000 cranes project, helped to create fleece tie blankets and kits to give to children at Strong Memorial Hospital and cleaned up the desks in Sturges Hall.

“[This is] an amazing opportunity for non-APO members of the community to get involved in service projects,” said sophomore Aaron Tomassini. “Day of Service is a great opportunity for Geneseo to give back to the community.”