New students 'plunge' into volunteer service

Huntington, Ind.—New students at Huntington University plunged into their college experience by volunteering at several places throughout the Huntington community on Aug. 25.

For 14 years, the university’s new students have participated in the Joe Mertz Center Volunteer Plunge. This year, 22 teams comprised of more than 300 freshmen, transfer students, mentor students, faculty and staff cleaned, painted, worked on yards and other various indoor and outdoor projects from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Volunteer Plunge is a part-day of community service held each year in conjunction with Huntington University’s comprehensive, three-day, new student orientation.

Darah Morin, a sophomore digital media arts major from Gorham, Maine, rakes mulch at Kids Kampus.
“The Plunge is a wonderful opportunity for Huntington University students to serve the Huntington community,” said Crystal Hippensteel, director of new student programming and volunteer service. “It is an exciting experience for students and faculty members to actually get plugged into service organizations in our area and hopefully foster a desire for further community service involvement throughout their time in Huntington.”

Service locations for the 2007 Volunteer Plunge included the YMCA, Huntington County Humane Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Victory Noll, Helping Paws, Forks of the Wabash, Riverview Middle School, Huntington Head Start, the American Red Cross, Kids Kampus, Good Shepherd Church, Boys & Girls Club, the Dan Quayle Center, Salamonie Reservoir, Salamonie Nature Center, the home of an elderly woman, Pathfinder Services, Inc.; and Love, Inc.

Founded in 1992, the Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service has become an integral part of Huntington University campus life. During the 2006-2007 academic year, students, faculty and staff volunteered for more than 12,397.5 hours, serving more than 50 families, organizations and programs.

Huntington University’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service is a student-directed organization that mobilizes the campus community for Christian service. The JMC aims to involve students in the local community, instill a lifelong tendency toward service and promote the idea that one person can make a difference. The Joe Mertz Center has been listed as an exemplary program in the John Templeton Foundation Honor Roll of Character-Building Colleges.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director