Students at St. John's University rolled up their sleeves and got to work as part of the school's 14th annual Service Day. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
There was no sleeping in for students at St. John's University Saturday.
Volunteers like Kimberly Marquez Torres helped paint the local Veterans of Foreign War post in Flushing.
"I'm really excited and actually want to come back for one of their events and see how it all looks," said Marquez Torres, a senior.
Marquez Torres knows how important the VFW is because she is a veteran too.
She's also president of the Student Veteran Association at St. John's.
Her fellow student-veterans say the VFW does a lot to help them and they are happy to give back.
"Us coming over here to actually put a fresh coat of paint, to clean, it's a small token of appreciation for the amount of work they've done for us," said Mark DeVera, a senior.
"They really dedicate a lot of time helping us with our disability claims and education benefits, so it's only fitting that on this day we help them out and give a little bit back," explained Brendan McKevitt, a graduate student at St. John’s University.
Beautifying the VFW is just one of many service projects spearheaded by St. John's students this weekend.
It is all part of the school's 14th annual Service Day, to honor the commitment of St. Vincent de Paul to serve the poor and disadvantaged.
University President Dr. Bobby Gempesaw says the students and faculty are also inspired by Pope Francis and his teachings.
"We all have a duty to do good. And so this is just not once a day but it's something that we celebrate the rest of the year as well," said Dr. Gempesaw.
Alumni who are now members of the VFW post say it is something to celebrate for life.
"This is a place that was built by World War II veterans; it's been around since the '50's. And you know it could always use that touch," said Jerry Ojeda, of VFW Post 3427.
"If we didn't have the community come help us, we'd have to shut down the place. So, it's very nice to see so many people come out," said Andrea Machuca, also of VFW Post 3427.