PHC student volunteers at Purcellville Town-Wide Cleanup Day (Courtesy of PHC Community Involvement Commission)
Ten Patrick Henry College student volunteers and PHC President Jack Haye worked at the Purcellville Town-Wide Cleanup Day along with Purcellville residents and Mayor Kwasi Fraser on March 25.
The team picked up trash on the side of the road for about a mile east of the Berlin Turnpike roundabout. About 200 volunteers picked up 145 bags of trash last year. This year, 337 volunteers picked up over 300 bags, which is over one ton of trash, said event coordinator Adam Broshkevitch.
For students who attended, this opportunity to work alongside members of the community of Purcellville was the chance to show them that community matters.
“For about two hours we picked up trash on the side of the street,” junior Shiyi Zhang said. “I wanted to do it because it’s a good way to be involved in the community, and I seldom get other chances to be involved in our local community. This was a good opportunity for me to do that but also for a group of students from our school to come together and form a good community as well.”
Among the PHC volunteers who attended the cleanup, college president Jack Haye was one of them. For Zhang, this show of leadership made picking up trash on a Saturday morning well worth her time.
“We worked in a group of just PHC students, and President Haye also went with us,” Zhang said. “He taught me what it is like to be a servant leader... He had to humble himself to do the work that other people might not want to do, and if we want to be like that we all must have a servant’s heart.”
PHC student volunteers and President Jack Haye (third from right) (Courtesy of PHC Community Involvement Commission)
For other students, cleaning up Purcellville was a way to portray PHC in a positive light for the community, while also helping keep the town beautiful. Junior Keith Zimmerman took this chance to interact with other students at PHC and members of the community not to get anything out of it, but for the sake of service itself.
“I was involved in a lot of community service in high school and really appreciated doing that, so I was excited to have the opportunity to be involved in community service in college, too,” Zimmerman said. “I don’t necessarily get anything out of the service, but that’s okay. If you’re serving people because you want to feel better about yourself or get recognition, then you’re missing the whole point.”
To learn about more volunteer opportunities in the community, visit the PHC Community Involvement Commission Facebook page.
Reporting courtesy of PHC's The Herald.