The online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary offers 16 definitions for the verb “give.” Most of which involve the everyday usage of the word’s meaning “to make a present of” or “to offer to the action of another.” Here at Gannon, “give” has another definition—“Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere.”

Sponsored by Gannon University’s Center for Social Concerns, GIVE Day is an annual event in which members of the Gannon community volunteer service in their areas. Current students, faculty, staff and alumni from all over the country find time to give a morning of service to many local organizations.

Current students join a volunteer group based on their activities or classes. Many freshmen volunteer with those living on the same floor in their residence halls. Many of the different clubs and organizations on campus create groups to volunteer service together.

In the past, Gannon students have volunteered cleaning up Downtown Erie, Presque Isle and within Erie-GAINS neighborhoods, at food banks, homeless shelters and many other nonprofit organizations. Students in specific majors or organizations may find themselves volunteering in their fields; for instance, theatre majors have worked at the Erie Playhouse, and social work majors have worked in hospitals.

Last year, Gannon celebrated the 15th Anniversary of GIVE Day, and over 1,000 students participated. The anniversary was further celebrated with the “TreeVitalize” project, during which students planted over 135 trees in the city of Erie.

This year’s GIVE Day will be held on Saturday Sept. 21, beginning at 8 a.m. in the Hammermill Center, where all student participants should meet with their groups for a sendoff (Including breakfast and a free t-shirt!) before heading to their service sites.

Alumni GIVE Day events will be held all over the nation, including in Erie, Pa.; Atlanta, Ga.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Harrisburg, Pa.; Newark, N.J.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Washington, D.C.