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Hundreds of SFU students, faculty, and staff members spent Tuesday volunteering in the local community to celebrate the annual R.E.D. (Reaching Every Door) Day. R.E.D. is an annual day of service inspired by the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi, in which students show appreciation for their community by giving of their time and talents.

Courtney Caldwell, sophomore Biology/Pre-Med student who is also a member of service sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma, told the Tribune Democrat how fulfilling it is to participate in R.E.D. Day. "I think of it as a fun day to go out and help people who need it," she said. 

Greek Life chapters, Athletics teams, the Center for Service & Learning, and various student groups and clubs organize the event each year, reaching out to the community for projects they may need help with, such as assisting the elderly with lawn work and household chores, volunteering at local businesses, and working at local animal rescues.

One such project involved helping SFU neighbor Vale Wood Farms prepare for their annual Fall Festival. Students husked corn, painted bails of hay, and stocked trailers with pumpkins for the much anticipated pumpkin patch.

Faculty from the Shields School of Business first got the idea to reach out to Vale Wood five years ago, when their students were participating in a Backpack to Briefcase client-consultant student marketing project for the local farm. 

"Service is at the very heart of our mission at Saint Francis University," says Shields professor Dr. Tricia McFadden. "R.E.D. Day provides an opportunity to walk our values into the marketplace and local community. Our relationship with Vale Wood Farms started with partnership in a Backpack to Briefcase project and grew through many facets, including R.E.D. Day. We now dedicated a full day at the Farm with students from all majors, as well as athletic teams including Women's Basketball, Softball, and Water Polo."

Other service projects the students completed on R.E.D. Day included cleaning up local road and highways, helping at the Dorothy Day Center, assisting animals at the Central PA Humane Society, harvesting vegetables at St. Vincent De Paul, cleaning horse stables at Dreams Go On, and assisting the elderly with household tasks.

"We had a great time with the girls from St. Francis yesterday," said Dorothy Caminiti from the Saint Vincent De Paul community gardens. "We worked hard and also had fun. They were a lot of help. The girls picked over 100 pounds of zucchini, 35 pounds of yellow squash, and 32 pounds of butternut squash, some of which they took to the Dorothy Day Center!"

Photos from R.E.D. Day:

RED Day 2018

View all photos from RED Day