The Villanova University community partnered with local service organizations and neighborhood agencies throughout the Greater Philadelphia region on Saturday, Sept. 22 in celebration of the University’s seventh-annual St. Thomas of Villanova “Day of Service.”

More than 4,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families took part in projects at 140 sites ranging from serving meals and packaging food for hunger relief organizations to neighborhood clean-ups and tree plantings.

One of the largest single-day service events in the region, the St. Thomas Day of Villanova Celebration honors the University’s patron saint – the 16th century Augustinian bishop of Valencia, Spain – known for his great charity to the poor and marginalized.

“The Day of Service provides an opportunity to work side-by-side with our service partners so that they can better meet the needs in their neighborhoods,” said Augustinian Father Peter M. Donohue, Villanova University president. “Each fall, our community comes together to support this event and build upon the wonderful partnerships that have been created throughout Greater Philadelphia. The energy and enthusiasm from this one day serves as a catalyst for the great volunteer work that our students, faculty, staff and alumni will perform throughout the year.”

“The Day of Service gives the Villanova community a chance to start the year off in the spirit of St. Thomas of Villanova and in a way that is true to its Augustinian and Catholic roots,” said Brendan Cummings, student chair of the Day of Service. “By working together and giving up a Saturday the Villanova community is able to make a big difference to over 140 service sites across the region that provide a variety of services to a diverse range of causes.”

The St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service is just one of many ways that Villanovans reach out to meet the needs of communities near and far. Villanovans provide more than 220,000 hours of service annually in communities locally, regionally and globally.

In addition to participating in weekly outreach opportunities at Philadelphia area social service and charitable organizations, Villanovans participate in a wide variety of long-term mentoring and service-break experiences as well as ongoing Habitat for Humanity projects.