The Catholic University of America

Jan. 25, 2012

Catholic University Breaks Service Hours Goal

  Students Marina Phillips, Margaret Senor, and Andrew Laux mark the University's 125,000 hours on the University's service hours "thermometer."

On Jan. 24, the Catholic University community achieved the University’s goal of recording 125,000 hours of charitable service.

Of the accomplishment, President John Garvey said, “Last spring we invited the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of The Catholic University of America to join us in a Cardinal Service Commitment to perform 125,000 hours of service in celebration of our 125th birthday.

“It is with great pride in our student body — past and present — as well as our staff and faculty that I learn that we have surpassed that goal with nearly two and a half months to spare. Such an accomplishment, imbued as it has been with enthusiasm and the spirit of charity, expresses the heart of our mission as The Catholic University of America: to live in service to our Church and nation.”

As of Jan. 25, the number of service hours recorded has reached more than 135,000. The final tally will be announced on CUA’s campus on Founders Day, April 10.

The tipping point came from service performed by National Catholic School of Social Service student Kathryn Juliana, who graduates in May with a Master of Social Work degree. Juliana performs clinical service hours at the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project (HCPP), which serves five family shelters in the Washington, D.C., area.

Juliana works in the project’s office in the Northwest D.C. neighborhood of Columbia Heights as well as in D.C. General, an emergency family shelter in Southeast D.C.

“As a way to attempt to bridge the educational gap the children we serve face, HCPP is implementing a ‘play curriculum,’ which seeks to take advantage of the opportunities play has for education,” says Juliana, who is helping to design the curriculum.

She also volunteers at the HCPP teen program at D.C. General, helping to provide “a safe place for teens to hang out, feel support when many feel isolated and hide the fact that they’re homeless from their friends, give them a chance to connect to mentors, as well as receive academic support and work on their personal goals.”

Says Juliana, “I love what I do with the Playtime Project. Although it can be heartbreaking to hear their stories and struggles, it is also inspiring to see the resilience and determination the parents have to do what’s best for their families. The teens are equally inspirational, aspiring to attend college and motivated to meet their personal goals in spite of adversity.”

The University community and its alumni are notable for their commitment to service, says Garvey, who has exhorted them “to press on with renewed conviction. We have 11 more weeks before our 125th anniversary. Let’s keep serving, and keep counting hours right up until our Founders Day celebration on April 10.”




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