Campus News

Serving with Pride by John Hall

What do Tommy Hilfiger, Bottle Creek, Brighton, and Walmart all have in common? They all make regular donations to the Solutions Thrift Store in Dade City! Members of Sigma Lambda Fraternity, along with Sistuh’s Incorporated Sorority, conducted Community Service in the early morning hours on April 8. The team, led by senior political science major Phillip Moss (member of the fraternity), assisted in the overall cleanup and edifying of the property.

With elation on their faces, the managers and volunteers at the facility welcomed the team for the hours they were slated for. The properties manager, Roxanne Wright, openly embraced the group as she said that a lot of work that usually takes the volunteer staff eight hours to complete during the workweek can be done in an hour with the team that came out.

The group cleared down overgrown plants, painted workspaces, and immaculately trimmed hedges during their service.  Senior economics and accounting major Ross Gisondi took pride in his work, pausing and expressing his appreciation for the ability to give back and support Saint Leo’s core value of Community. Gisondi said the two years he has spent in the fraternity has allowed him to grow in many different ways through proper social networking.

Supporting his brothers’ comments was Moss who stated, “It’s a wonderful feeling as a fraternity to come out and serve those that need help within and around the Saint Leo Community.” He reported that this was one of the many community services that the fraternity has conducted over the past year. As they have recently celebrated fifty years, Moss added that they were on the precipice of doing so much more!

As the morning progressed the doors could not open fast enough as persons filled the doorway of the store. From the intake area to the shoppers around the store, a lot of activity was seen around the property. The smooth process was made much easier by the presence and work of the team of students on the grounds.

Wright included that she sees the store as less of a thrift store and more of a boutique, and rightly so! Throughout the store were popular name brands that most people think can only be found at high end or local stores. Wright stated that the misconception exists that most of the stores donations are derived from old, unwanted items, which is far from the truth. Many donations from corporate citizens add to the growing dynamics of the stores expansion.

Giving testament to this was Mr. John Wesley Parish, a Vietnam war veteran and 6-year volunteer. Parish stated that his act of service allows him to keep his mind off of the events of the war. He relates the magnificent job at organizing the store to i’s manager Mrs. Wright, who has expanded to a dedicated men’s section.

As the fraternal organizations continued the wonderful job of bringing order to the property, they were able to dialogue with the staff (who chose to be considered as family) that never stopped smiling through their service. One of them was Connie Ashmore, a 12-year volunteer who works full-time at a court. Connie makes several trips to the store during the week and volunteers during the early weekend hours sorting all donated clothing.

As the team of students left Solutions, the indelible mark of their hard work was left behind as, both the staff and students exchanged more than words and time but service.

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