Presbyterian College freshman Maison Payne doesn’t consider himself outdoorsy. But, as he dug into the dirt and pulled weeds at the Laurens County Humane Society, he thought more about the animals and others who will enjoy the trail he and fellow PC students helped to construct at the property.

Knowing that you’re doing something meaningful for people who wouldn’t have it otherwise, and you’re making a difference — it just eliminates any preconceived things you were hesitant about,” Payne said. “It’s been a nice experience.”

Recently, nearly 200 students from PC and the PC School of Pharmacy volunteered at 16 locations across Laurens County. The volunteer efforts were part of both schools’ annual service days.

Their service included work like laying the dog-walking trail, laying bricks and working in a garden, as well as engaging with residents in the county.

PC as an institution was founded on the value and importance of service,” said Racquel Gill, assistant chaplain for Multicultural Community Engagement. “We see a need to engage incoming students around that value within that first week. Service Day is a great opportunity for them to interact and engage with the community that they will be living in and being educated in for four years.”

Many students said they also got to know one another and other members of campus while serving the community. Freshmen like Louise Blake, who worked at the community garden, learned something new.

I’ve been laying bricks, which I’ve never done before, but it’s a great learning opportunity,” Blake said. “I guess that’s what Service Day is all about — learning and trying new things and helping out others.”