Campus News

Service Day 2012 impacts community and students

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The alarm rings – it’s a Tuesday morning. It’s time for another day of classes and work. Somewhere you find time for friends and maybe a little studying and call it a day. Sounds like the life of a typical college student, right? Not for Bethel students on Tuesday, Oct. 2. When the alarm rang that morning, students were getting up -  but not to go to classes. Instead, they went out into the community to serve others. Whether they were at Goodwill sorting clothes or at a food pantry packing boxes, students did what they could to make an impact on others. Many ended up realizing that they were affected just as much as those they helped. “Today really impacted me because I was able to reach out to those in need and I realized what it means to be a servant for Christ,” sophomore Jacy Borlik said. “I am so blessed in my life and i take things for granted, such as food, and working with Feed the Children today quickly taught me to appreciate what I have.” This type of attitude is exactly what the administration seeks to foster through events such as the campus-wide service day. “(Service) does make us unique,” said Janelle Crotser, director of service learning. "We’re a faith-based college and we believe that we have a mandate from Christ to serve others and we want to live it out and not just talk about it.” However, some don’t necessarily like the fact that service day is mandatory for all students. Crotser understands this, but she says that the event serves a purpose. “We know that not everyone wants to be forced to serve and I understand that,” Crotser said, “But we see the great benefit and we feel that the benefit outweighs the (lack of) desire.” The local businesses and groups that Bethel supports through service day also see the benefit that it can bring. “I just want to thank Bethel College for coming and spending their time with us today,” said Darlene Anderson, the volunteer coordinator at Feed the Children in Elkhart. “It is a real blessing to have such young people who know about giving back. That's really what it's all about, and that's what we do here at Feed the Children. We hope they come back again real soon." Even after getting up early and working hard all day, students and staff alike had positive reviews of the experience. “I think Service Day was a success because we did help and serve others, and at the end of the day, that's what it is all about," junior Zach Drake said. “It went beyond my expectations,” Crotser said. And the opportunities don’t stop after Service Day is over. Each residence hall is matched with an organization to make a monthly service opportunity open to students including commuters. Also, the Service Learning Department holds monthly events and they are always available to students who want to come in and get connected with an organization to serve. One day the alarm rings for class, the next it’s to help feed children around the world. At Bethel College who knows what each day will bring?  
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