South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Collaboration the key to spring cleaning on South Side

Community Council teams with Pitt on church clean-ups


Prince of Peace Deacon Frank blesses PittServes students after they ended their work for the day.

Spring cleaning was much easier this year for Prince of Peace Parish as a result of the collaboration among its parish council, PittServes and the South Side Community Council.

Each spring and fall Prince of Peace Parish Council attempts to clean their two church sites but often has difficulty finding volunteers. PittServes, a University-wide initiative that engages students in meaningful service to the community on a local, national and international scale, is always looking for volunteer projects in which the students can engage.

Jennifer Holliman, a South Side resident and the University Relations Committee Chair of the South Side Community Council, seeks out South Side projects for students at both the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University. When the parish council learned the students were available to assist, they quickly selected March 19 so both church sites would be cleaned for the Palm Sunday and Easter Masses.

Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., the students, along with parish council and community council volunteers, cleaned pews, confessionals, choir lofts and floors. There are now plans for PittServes students to return in the fall and next spring.

PittServes students will return to South Side on Saturday, April 2 to prep and clean at Bandi Schaum from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. They will also assist with the community council's Love Your Block Planting Day on Saturday, June 4 when they will be working at Ormsby Park planting two gardens, painting a newly installed guard rail, installing sod to fix the grass and other basic gardening clean up.

Additional volunteers from the community are always welcome and encouraged to engage with the students so they can develop an understanding of South Side as a neighborhood.

Peter Zheng, chair of the Student Civic Engagement Office at PittServes and Ms. Holliman are also looking for additional projects for students.

Also, as the University Relations Committee Chair, Ms. Holliman is well connected with Duquesne University's Commuter Affairs office and the University of Pittsburgh's Office of Community Affairs. If residents are experiencing issues around student housing, she can be contacted at


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