Day of Caring aiming for more than 300 faculty, staff volunteers

Guy Johnson, Pitt Police, during 2017 Day of Caringby MARTY LEVINE

Pitt’s annual service day for faculty and staff, the Day of Caring, will be on Oct. 19 this year — the day before the annual student service event, Pitt Make A Difference Day. 

“We really pride ourselves on our ability to give back and be a part of the community that surrounds us,” says Cassie Hayt, staff member in Community and Governmental Relations, which organizes the event.

Volunteers are matched with projects, mainly in Oakland but also in surrounding neighborhoods, including Homewood and the Hill District, where Pitt will be opening community engagement centers. This year, the projects vary from painting, power washing and cleaning at Peoples Oakland Recovery Center and planting and seeding the wildflower meadow and rain garden at Allegheny County Parks Department locations to general maintenance and gardening in the 14-acre greenspace of Wilkinsburg’s Hosanna House, which is used for both outdoor recreation and educational programs.

Hayt hopes this year’s Day of Caring tops 300 faculty and staff volunteers, which hasn’t been done in the past few years. Deadline to register is Sept. 26.

“We usually complete a significant amount of work in a short amount of time,” she says — work that would normally take an organization many days or weeks to complete on its own.

“We receive a lot of positive feedback” from the local organizations that volunteers aid, she adds. “It reaffirms the University’s commitment to be a strong contributor to the Pittsburgh community.”

Transportation to projects leaves at 8:30 a.m. in front of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial and the work lasts until 4 p.m. Volunteers need not take time off to participate (with the permission of their supervisor).

Lunch and a Day of Caring T-shirt are provided, as are the tools and equipment needed for each project.

Click here to register as a Pitt Day of Caring volunteer.

Marty Levine is a writer for the University Times. Contact him at or 412-758-4859.