Guest Commentary: Third Annual Schweitzer Day of Service – North Philadelphia


Nicole Cobb Moore, MA
Greater Philadelphia Program Director
Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF)’s Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows Program held its Third Annual Day of Service on Saturday, January 21st at the Zion Baptist Church’s Educational Annex/Community Center in North Philadelphia.

Thirty-two volunteers—including current and potential Schweitzer Fellows, friends, family members, and 10 students from Youth Build Philadelphia Charter School—braved the snowy weather to scrap, sand, and repair the church’s fellowship hall (a space that helps to facilitate the church’s health and social service programming).

From replacing broken light bulbs to painting the walls with paint generously donated by several local businesses, the volunteers worked from 10 am to 4 pm to revitalize the 49’ by 59’ hall.

The volunteers’ efforts were lauded by Zion’s Cornelius D. Pitts, PharmD, who serves as a site mentor for current Schweitzer Fellow Lawrence Onishi (who is working to expand the church’s health literacy offerings).

“I just want to directly thank you for your time, compassion and dedication in providing such heartfelt assistance,” Pitts told the volunteers. “‘Service with joy’ is the phrase that came to mind for me … and that is what we are all called to. I suspect that [this service day], although admirable, is only a slight indication of the path you’ve chosen to follow in your lives, as is the mission of the Albert Schweitzer Fellows program. The energy you expend in these efforts will inspire others to do the same… and that is how the world will be changed for the better.”

For more information about the Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows Program, visit

For photos of the service project, go to

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