I started off my life in the medical field by working as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and firefighter in my hometown. I started when I was 14 years old, so community service isn’t a foreign concept for me. I truly love helping people and helping them through their time of need.

When I came to Gannon it was no longer possible for me to volunteer with my fire department because I was living too far away. About a month after moving here, I started to really miss doing community service. Shortly after that was GIVE day on Gannon’s campus. GIVE day is Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere. It’s one Saturday every September where over 1,000 students volunteer within the Erie community.

It was awesome to get back into the volunteer world and I knew that it was something that I wanted to continue throughout my college career.

That spirit of service is exactly what drew me into the Greek community. I joined Zeta Beta Tau as soon as I could, which was second semester of my freshman year here at Gannon.

I love the fact that service was such a big part of the fraternity experience. Through ZBT I have been able to do community service at a variety of locations, like the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, local nursing homes and the ANNA shelter. I have also been able to assist in raising hundreds of dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Just this past month, I participated in my last GIVE day as an undergraduate. My group and I spent the morning cleaning up a west Erie neighborhood that used to be known as Little Italy.

There were a few other seniors in my group and before we knew it, we were all reflecting on our time here at Gannon. We talked about how much Gannon promotes community service among its students and how we feel that we have really grown as individuals because of the service that we were able to complete. We all said that we will probably continue doing service for the rest of our lives. Overall I had a ton of fun and the personal reflection was invigorating and revitalizing.

More recently I helped organize an event within my fraternity called Get On The Ball. During this week long event, several of my brothers and I rolled a six foot ball around campus, campaigning for signatures in exchange for donations to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. We were able to raise hundreds of dollars and it was a ton of fun.

Overall, I highly recommend getting involved in some type of service during your time in college. It is truly a rewarding experience. Most campuses have multiple clubs and organizations that have a primary purpose of service. All Greek organizations focus on service and they truly help develop you as a well-rounded person.

But it’s time for me to get back to the books, catch ya on the flip side.

– Tyler

Check out some other posts about GIVE Day including photos from last years day of service here.