During the fall semester, a delegation of nineteen juniors and seniors from Greensburg Central Catholic spent the day assisting with “You’ve Got a Friend Day” at Twin Lakes Park. This annual event hosted by the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation provides a full day of activities for approximately 650 physically and mentally disabled children. The program includes an array of fun events including hayrides, fishing, boating, a petting zoo, inflatables, music, an exotic animal show, and more. Nearly 700 volunteers serve in a variety of capacities to make the day successful. Student volunteers, such as those from GCC, are assigned to individual children to be buddies who accompany them through the park and assist them in the various activities.
Gabby Gombos and Michael McCready were among the GCC students who assisted that day. They were paired with a student who is wheelchair bound. After the event, the young man’s teacher at Clairview School Kristen Mulheren, reached out to Principal Kevin Frye to make him be aware of “how phenomenal they were” with her student. In her own words, Ms. Mulheren explained: “They [Gabby and Michael] never once hesitated to take over and asked questions about what to do in different situations. A few coworkers came up to me to let me know they saw Mike and Gabby playing games with him and helping him participate by lifting his arms. They even pushed him up to the wheelchair bus and wanted to help load him onto the lift. They went above and beyond to make his day great, and he had a BLAST!!”
GCC is happy to assist at this event annually. Service opportunities such as “You’ve Got a Friend Day” place our students in real world situations where they can learn more about themselves as well as others in the community who have different life experiences than their own. GCC junior Grace Kindel explained that this activity made her realize “how the little things that we overlook each day can mean the world to those who don’t experience them in the same way we do, even just a short brisk walk for those who can’t walk on their own.”