Campus News

Students provide service for several communities

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Senior Johanna Craig, Freshman Eduardo Fernandez and Bernardo Sant’Anna help paint a stair railing at El Campito in South Bend. (Photo by Yon Moya)

On Tuesday, Oct. 6 over 900 Bethel students went out into the surrounding communities to serve their neighbors.

Forty-three different groups worked in locations throughout Michiana. According to Service Learning, the number of groups was smaller than in years past because bigger groups were sent out to tackle huge projects. “This year we had some really large groups, like 200 people with Feed the Children, 80 with the Wakarusa Playground and 70 with Toys for Tots,” said Julie Beam, director of service learning. “This means we did not go to as many different organizations as we have in years past, but hopefully made a larger impact at the ones with such a big group of hands.” Service Learning student worker, freshman Dean Compton, traveled around to some of the various worksites. “At the Center for the Homeless they were gutting the inside of an old building,” said Compton. “There were about 40 people working on it. That was pretty cool.” Compton said he has heard a lot of positive feedback. Senior Gary Ingle was a leader of the team that went to Rum Village Nature Center. They cleaned up debris and trash from the trails. “I’m glad we were able to serve in this simple yet important way,” said Ingle. According to Beam, Service Day is about community. “The day is really about worshiping God as a community, recognizing that worship is more than just singing and includes doing for God also,” she said. Around 200 students spent their day packing boxes at Feed the Children in Elkhart. According to Merri DeWinter, the volunteer coordinator for Feed the Children, Bethel students packed over 3,600 boxes with food and personal care items that will be sent to children and families within a 400 mile radius of the Elkhart location. “What you guys did was tremendous,” said DeWinter. “We really appreciated it.” DeWinter said they need more volunteers to help them meet their goal of packing 60,000 more boxes before Christmas. Students looking to continue serving the community should contact her. DeWinter’s information, as well as other service opportunities, can be found on the Service Learning page on Bethel’s Web site.
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