Community members can expect to see tweets about things other than typical State Patty’s Day festivities on Saturday, as several students will be live tweeting from service projects they are participating in as part of the Council of LionHeart’s third annual State Day of Service.
Jeff Amos , student facilitator for the Council of LionHearts, said live tweeting is something new that the group is trying for this year’s service event, which is coordinated by LionHearts to offer an alternative to drinking on State Patty’s Day.
Amos (senior-microbiology and food services) said the group’s goal is to have people think about the effects of their actions and reflect on the service they complete.
State Day of Service will sponsor more than 15 service projects this year in and around downtown State College and Centre County. Service projects will include cleaning up the Arboretum, cleaning the streets downtown and working at the Centre Region Senior Center, 131 S. Fraser St.
“State Patty’s Day isn’t a great day for State College and many local residents see it as damaging,” Amos said. “Service is a great way to give back to people who live in State College.”
Council of LionHearts is made up of several representatives from various other community service organizations on campus. They meet up during the school year to coordinate service projects for the university and each organization is responsible for at least one service project as part of State Day of Service, Kristie Winiarski, who is helping to promote State Day of Service, said.
Winiarski is a recent Penn State graduate who has previously participated in the State Day of Service as an undergraduate student. This year, she offered to help with promotions and public relations for the event while finishing her masters at Penn State.
“[State Day of Service] is a great opportunity for students to get involved in something other than drinking and introduce them to service opportunities in the Penn State area,” Winiarski said of the event, which has always been scheduled for the same day as State Patty’s Day.
Winiarski said the whole day helps show Penn State, during a weekend like State Patty’s, that students care about the community they live in.
She added that when she volunteered for service in the past, she signed up to clean the downtown streets.
Amos said he is a fan of cleaning the streets as well because of the interactions with people downtown.
“It’s a really interesting dynamic because you’re walking around and picking up stuff and people are wasted and thanking you for picking it up. It’s a neat way to interact with people off campus,” Amos said.
The most popular service projects seem to vary each year, both Amos and Winiarski said. However, so far they said the one with the most volunteers is the Arboretum clean-up.
Jonathon Basso said he will be volunteering for the THON toy drive, which collects all the toys left over from THON weekend and sorts them to be donated to different organizations in State College.
Basso, who is also the internal administrator for Students Engaging Students, another student club on campus, said he volunteers because he doesn’t understand State Patty’s Day and thinks it overshadows the rest of what Penn State does.
“We do way more good than bad, but people focus on the things that happen on State Patty’s Day,” Basso (senior-rehabilitation and human services) said. “That overshadows [the good] and State Day of Service reminds people how much Penn State cares.”
Students interested in volunteering this weekend can sign up at volunteer.psu .edu, where there is also a complete list of service being offered.