ServErie School Initiative 

Need: As a result of a debt crisis and major restructuring of the school system, Erie’s Public Schools had a pressing need to renovate many of the schools within the district to improve teachers’ and students’ learning environment.

Resource: ServErie has high capacity volunteer leadership for fundraising and leadership, tools, and volunteer force.


What is the School Initiative?

The ServErie School Initiative is a four-year long initiative where we partner with Erie’s Public Schools offer our volunteer force, skilled labor, tool bank and focus our efforts to renovate the school of greatest need.


How is the school chosen?

ServErie committed to four years of partnering with Erie’s Public Schools and choosing one school to renovate per year. The decision is made mutually between ServErie leadership and Erie’s Public Schools as to what school is chosen per year.


Who do they serve?

Teachers, staff, students, and the district.


What do volunteers do?

Volunteers come with a variety of skills. Some have skills to landscape, pour concrete, lead a group or work with wood – others have big hearts and are willing participate wherever possible. The School Initiative provides an opportunity for all shapes and sizes that fit the skill level of the volunteer. There is cleaning, painting, leading, organizing, construction, managing tools, managing food, adminstration, registration, and more!


How can volunteers get involved?

Register online – OR – ask if you could be a Project Manager

What does a ServErie School Initiative look Like?

Usually lasts three days, from Thursday – Saturday


Two Shifts

Each day is divided into two shifts, and depending on funding, lunch will be provided or options for lunch are nearby.



Kick-off is at 8 AM in the morning and goes until 12 PM; Second shift is 1 PM – 5 PM. Arrive 15 minutes before your shift.


Arrive at the school

Go to the registration desk, sign-in, and get a t-shirt. Registration will tell you where you are assigned. 


Site Leader & Volunteer

If you’re the site leader, get your sign and wait for the kick-off. If you’re a volunteer, look for your site leader and the group you’re assigned to. Gather together, say hi to your site leader in the green t-shirt and to your group members. 


Shift start

Each shift starts right at 8 AM (or 12 PM), someone will say a few words. Then about 15 minutes later, you will be dismissed to your work site.


Get to work

Once you’re dismissed, then it’s time to get to work! Your site leader will tell you what you need to know to serve that day. It’s ok to take a break when you need one while you’re working.


Your shift is over!

Once your shift is over, you’re welcome to head home unless you signed up for more than one shift.

serverie saturdays

Need: Volunteers and sweat equity to accomplish much-needed projects at non-profits, schools, and parks for the city

Resource: ServErie’s volunteer force of thousands of willing hands and hearts









what are serverie saturdays?

ServErie Saturdays occur a few times a year. We equip volunteers from schools, churches, businesses, and communities to serve non-profits agencies across Erie County. 

 As a result, many volunteers connect non-profits they have a passion for and volunteers also build relationships with new individuals.


In 2009, an Erie native, Clara Ward, had the opportunity of a lifetime. Clara was known for her generosity and selflessness – she ran a youth development non-profit called Clara’s Way out of her home that was falling apart – cracked foundation, leaking roof, and a damaged sewer line.  Not to mention, she suffers from a degenerative muscular disease and is confined to a wheel-chair and did not have a ramp to enter her home. 


 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition got word of her story and came to town to change her history forever. She became an Erie sensation. Clara’s incredible determination to serve others before herself even when she had a great need sparked awareness throughout Erie County. Why can’t our community do this for non-profits? Can’t we start an initiative that provides volunteer help and skilled labor? We have willing hands, willing hearts, and plenty of need – but where do we start?

They started with non-profits that already devoted the majority of their time and resources to helping others. What was once one non-profit and one church has since grown to serve over 60 agencies. .

who do serverie saturdays serve?






Paint, Yard clean-up, Organize, Clean, Neighborhood clean-ups, Ramps, Small projects

The agency communicates their need and our volunteers fulfill the need. At one point, ServErie asked agencies whether their greatest need was help with fundraising efforts or they would prefer if a volunteer force to their time and sweat equity to complete projects they already had funding for. Unanimously, the answer we received was volunteers. 

What can you expect serving on a ServErie Saturday?

ServErie Saturdays block off a window of time from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm. All the volunteers gather at a local church around 7:30 am or 7:45 am to get registered, drink some coffee and have some light refreshments, and mingle with other fellow volunteers, and then find their site leader.

At 8:00 am, a ServErie member will kick-off the event with a brief presentation and a pastor will pray over the day. Shortly after, site leaders and their group of volunteers will launch to their sites to work on their projects.

At 12:30 pm, all volunteers return back to the launch site and the day in complete.