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Pitt students make a difference in South Pittsburgh


Allentown CDC board member Josh Lucas (left), gives last minute instructions to Universtity of Pittsburgh students before heading out to pick up trash on Warrington Avenue.

The University of Pittsburgh's Student Government Board and Division of Student Affairs coordinated the 2015 Pitt Make a Difference Day (PMADD) event on Saturday, Oct. 24.

PMADD is Pitt's chapter of National Make-A-Difference Day, the most encompassing day of service in the United States. USA WEEKEND Magazine inaugurated Make-A-Difference Day, which is held nationally on the fourth Saturday in October and attracts millions of community volunteers each year.

This year, Pitt bussed thousands of volunteers to neighborhoods to work on community projects throughout the City of Pittsburgh and beyond. The Pitt PMADD Committee and PittServes worked hard for months to bring meaningful connections between Pitt and our communities.

Misti McKeehan, PittServes Director and South Side Flats resident, matched community stakeholder organizations and more 150 matching PMADD volunteers for work that needed to be done throughout South Pittsburgh.

It truly was a South Side collaboration, and they worked on a number of initiatives.

South Side Community Council board members Barbara Rudiak, Jennifer Holliman, Kathleen Petrillo and Michael Clark and executive director Beth Graham coordinated the Flats PMADD teams from the Carnegie Library South Side Branch location and cleaned tree pits and collected and bagged litter throughout the Flats neighborhood.

South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association's Suzy Waldo (also a Community Council board member) and Jamie Balser, both Slopes residents, coordinated the Slopes PMADD teams and removed over 100 bags of invasive vines from hillsides and public stairs.

South Side Chamber of Commerce's Candice Gonzalez and Barbara Hughes coordinated PMADD and South Side Clean teams from the Welcome Center and removed litter from neighborhood streets, McArdle Roadway, and Sarah, Bingham and East Carson Streets.

Duquesne University Alum, Chamber board member and South Side Flats resident Mark Bucklaw led a group of Duquesne University volunteers who joined in the PMADD event and cleaned up neighborhood streets on the Flats.

Allegheny CleanWays' Janee Romesberg led a PMADD team and cleaned up litter on Terminal Way and surrounding public stairs, sidewalks and streets. Green Gears Pedicabs' CEO and Chamber board member Paul Kletter arranged to remove the bags of litter collected in the Terminal Way area.

The City of Pittsburgh arranged to have the Department of Public Works Division 4 remove the bags of collected litter and vines.

On the Hilltop, in Allentown the Pitt students joined Allentown CDC Board members Josh Lucas and Ken and Jessica Wolfe along with Joe Calloway and members of his RE360 staff to pick up trash along Warrington Avenue, weed the gateway gardens and clear an Arlington Avenue sidewalk of weeds.

In Mount Oliver, Pitt students joined Grow Pittsburgh and community volunteers in preparing the community garden at the foot of Giffin Avenue for the winter.

The Game Stop Plaza was mulched in the Mount Oliver City/St. Clair by Suzanne Photo's crew which included volunteers from G-Tech. Other volunteers along with Pitt students spread out through the neighborhood to clear trash from wooded areas and along the streets.

Carrick volunteers continued their regular litter patrols with an able assist from the students.

Following the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. community service work, the South Side volunteers gathered at a warehouse on Wharton Street, compliments of Commonwealth Press, and enjoyed lunch and snacks donated by the Community Council, the Chamber, Thai Me Up and Domino's Pizza.

Photos from Pitt Make a Difference Day in South Pittsburgh on Page 5 and online at in the Photo Gallery.


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