By Jessica O’Shell —
It was a chilly, Saturday morning in Pittsburgh when thousands of students dressed in their bright yellow “Pitt Makes A Difference Day” shirts arrived to help ‘Redd Up’ the city of Pittsburgh.
“It’s about more than just cleaning up the city,” says Rachel Lauver. “It’s a way to celebrate the University’s core values.”
Last October marked the 8th Annual Clean Up project ‘Pitt Makes A Difference Day’ (PMADD).
University of Pittsburgh students and faculty members reported to the William Pitt Union Lawn, rain or shine, at 9 a.m. where they checked in and received their assignment before heading out and getting down and dirty for the day.
“My job was to run a project that made toys for animals in animal shelters,” said project leader Liam McLane.
It wasn’t long before volunteers were picking up trash, removing graffiti or helping to create one of the many blankets that would later be given to the homeless here in the city of Pittsburgh.
“You need to be in the right mental state to give the best back to your community, and I would suggest doing this by taking a few moments to realize the magnitude of PMADD. Just the idea of students from all across campus coming together to help Pittsburgh gives me literal goosebumps, but then I am a huge nerd for volunteer work,” wrote volunteer Becca Tasker on her blog.
Together, volunteers were able to dedicate close to 20,000 hours on activities dedicating to cleaning up and helping out the city of Pittsburgh and it’s surrounding neighborhood communities.
Volunteers throughout the day managed to remove trash from along the roadside and even clean up some of Pittsburgh’s wooded areas.
Each of these sites that were listed for a clean-up were assigned by the offices of PittServes and the Pitt Student Government Board. Together they designate the clean-up sites for the day by way of submission.
Each year businesses and individuals are encouraged to complete the open registration form. The only requirement is that the sites must be able to be cleaned up without the use of power tools.
Some of the this year’s sites included: Bigelow Blvd., Schenley Plaza (in front of the PORCH restaurant) and University Drive.
“Thanks for volunteering on Troy Hill today! The gals that visited today were awesome and definitely made a difference in our community with their hard work!” said Troy Hill Citizens, Inc.
This was just one of the many thanks that volunteers received.
Trish Tok also told the organization – “Thank you for making a difference! Great job!” via Facebook.
Although this volunteer project is only available to University of Pittsburgh student’s and faculty members, it was estimated that about 4,200 of those 5,000 registered reported for their assignment. PMADD is not the University’s only clean-up project, throughout the year they also do smaller events such as “Pitt Project Oakland,” which is a spring-time project that helps to clean up and give new life to the Oakland community. This helps to control the litter year-round.
This year’s Pitt Makes A Difference Day was held on Saturday, October 24, 2015, which Lauver said was great because it was also happened to be National Make A Difference Day as well.
“I love the event, I think it’s a great way to get involved here at the University … I will absolutely participate again,” said McLane.
For more information on this project or to submit a site request visit:
Video Provided by: Pitt Student Affairs