By The Numbers

Penn founder Ben Franklin believed that the true purpose of education was to promote service to society-at-large. That purpose is still aligned with Penn’s mission today, and is visible through the University’s ongoing work with the community.

In addition to opportunities offered by numerous University outlets, Penn Volunteers in Public Service (Penn VIPS)—part of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships—provides a vehicle for staff, faculty, alumni, and members of the West Philadelphia community to work together through service activities and events.

From an annual scholarship program to various food and clothing drives, Penn VIPS is one of many ways faculty and staff can engage with the University and its surrounding communities. This edition of By The Numbers explores just a few of the ways those involved with Penn VIPS are making a difference.


Approximate number of toys and gifts collected each year to increase the capacity of local agencies to serve constituents during the holidays.


Number of Penn faculty and staff who volunteer to teach at the Nonprofit Institute, helping nonprofit agencies and professionals more effectively manage their organizations.


Number of coats collected last year through Penn VIPS to share with local families, agencies, and homeless shelters.


Number of items, such as pens, backpacks, crayons, calculators, and glue, collected for Philadelphia-area children this school year.


Amount raised by 12 volunteers for the Penn VIPS and Business Services Scholarship Program to provide scholarships for six graduating high school seniors en route to college.


Approximate number of alumni who volunteer to mentor ninth-grade students at Sayre High School.

Originally published on November 14, 2013