Updated 03/29/2010 05:09 PM
Volunteering tour drops by Salvation Army
The Salvation Army in Syracuse received help from an unexpected group. College students from Minnesota were in town to volunteer. They're on a tour to "Pay it Forward." Our Iris St. Meran has more on how much their visit means to the organization.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- These students from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota were only at the Salvation Army for a few hours, but their contributions made a lasting impression.
"It's a real boost for us. A shot in the arm. It's a little energy. It's someone that cares, coming in and helping us fix the place up," said Major David Champlin.
Forty-five students are doing everything from cleaning to painting. It's part of their school's "Pay it Forward" tour, and they traveled more than a thousand miles to volunteer in Syracuse on their spring break.
"A lot of people kind of overlook the idea that a little service doesn't do much, but it does. Everything you do helps out," said Andrew Boyle.
Painting was a big help to the staff. The students were able to complete the job within a matter of hours.
"It probably would have been into the late summer or early fall, so it's exciting to get it done ahead of schedule and on time," said Champlin.
When they weren't painting or cleaning, the students spent some quality time with seniors playing games in the Adult Day Center. One senior we spoke with enjoyed having these special guests.
"The students, they fit right in," said Mary Dorsey.
This experience reminded one student of why he decided to get involved with the tour.
"Over the course of my life I've received help from other people in one way or another. Whether it be with school work or any questions I have through life. So why not give back to somebody else that needs help in maybe different way," said Greg Hartung.
By paying it forward today, these students hope to inspire others to also give back.
These students are headed to New York City next. The tour ends in Washington D.C. where they'll take part in a three day service project with 200 other students.