The Power of 60 Seconds


Today, the Villanova School of Business had its second annual “flash service event”.

“60 Seconds of Service” gave students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to individually bag a lunch for a homeless person and personalize the lunch with an inspirational note. In less than 90 minutes, over 500 lunches were bagged, boxed and on their way to Cathedral Pantry at the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in Camden.

This was a simple yet impactful way to serve and bring some attention to those who are often overlooked. Set up in an assembly line fashion, students would pick up a bag, then start loading it with one of each item available, such as an apple, a milk, and an energy bar. Walking through the line took less than 30 seconds, and if the students wanted to, they could personalize the lunch by creating a personal, handwritten note to include with the lunch.

Here’s a video from last year’s event:

Since my classroom was right next to where this activity was taking place, I used the first three minutes of class to have the students go and make a lunch, if they wanted to. As I expected, I think every student volunteered to do so.

When one of my students came back, I asked him if he felt better from his quick bout of service, and he responded that he usually doesn’t do things like that, but that he did feel a sense of having done something important.

So it doesn’t take much to make a difference, just a willingness to do something.

So a big thanks to the committee that organized this event and for all those who volunteered; for me, it’s one of the highlights of the year.

Go Nova!

Published by

Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

4 thoughts on “The Power of 60 Seconds”

  1. That’s awesome. I never did that when I was in college, but I have participated in homeless ministry through my church and with other organizations. Also, last year the Arkansas Women Bloggers, at our annual “university,” worked with The Pack Shack to make about 10,000 meals in an hour. Incredible, right? And oh-so fun and fulfilling. Here’s what I wrote afterward:

    So glad you let your students participate in the 60-second endeavor. As we talked about in your Jay Wright post, little things can make a big impact.


    1. I loved your write-up of the Pack Shack event; seems like everyone was having fun, and doing something good, at the same time. Do you plan to participate in something like that again? By the way, I did notice the one token male in the video! (side note – the link to Funnelology did not seem to work.)


      1. I was trying to get a Pack Shack event set up in my hometown, but the organization had come to town once in the previous year and I had trouble gathering the interest to do it again so soon. I started talking to a young man in a local fraternity (whom the Pack Shack founder put me in touch with), and we just couldn’t work out the timing last fall. I had just changed jobs and didn’t have a lot of time or mental energy to get anything going at the time. We aren’t giving up, though. We’ll get an event here sooner or later.

        As for Funnelology 101, thanks for the heads-up about the busted link. I’ll tell the Arkansas Women Bloggers website administrator that there’s a new link:



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