Learning through giving

By Collin Dever
[email protected]

Valencia College cancelled classes so faculty and staff could spend time volunteering, on Friday. One thousand Valencia personnel took part in Learning Day and spent the afternoon cleaning up Moss Park in Orange County.

What is traditionally a day of workshops and lectures was transformed into a mass demonstration of giving, with the help of Hands on Orlando.

“We chose Moss Park because the property is so large there is endless work and we knew we would have enough for all 1,000 volunteers to make a difference here,” said Danielle Hunsberger corporate service manager of Hands on Orlando.

It took 19 buses to transport the volunteers from UCF where they spent the morning listening to the Valencia Alumni speak. Once at the park the small army broke into teams and divided the 225 shovels, 100 rakes, 500 pairs of gloves, and 300 tarps that aided them in their work.

The Valencia faculty and staff planted bushes, removed invasive species, cleaned up picnic areas, and laid mulch down on trails.

“I pulled in and said, ‘Wow look at all the people cleaning out at the front entrance,’ ” said Joe Snider, cub master of Pack 38 in Altamonte Springs. “It certainly is nice to come out and have it spiffy clean.”

Honors Professor Gustavo Morales was one of the faculty members in attendance. He thought the work being done to help the community was excellent, but was disappointed by the low turnout of his peers.

“Learning Day is the one of the only times we come together as a whole Valencia,” said Morales. “It’s the glue that holds us together.”