Huntington College freshmen plunge into community service

FOR RELEASE
2002-08-29

Huntington, Ind.— Hundreds of Huntington College students will spend Tuesday morning reaching out to those in need. Nineteen teams of freshmen and transfer students will participate in the Ninth Annual Volunteer Plunge, a half-day of community service held each year in conjunction with Huntington College's new student orientation. The Plunge also is the first means in connecting the students with the campus’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service.

“By having the Volunteer Plunge, our students are shown that the school and the student body is – and needs to be – connected to the community,” said Dr. Norris Friesen, vice president and interim dean of the College. “This is an act of putting feet to our faith. The students also get to know each other and work together in an informal setting. This is what the Plunge is all about.”
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Over 250 students will volunteer their time to help the community on Sept. 3, from 9 a.m.-noon. Nineteen teams of freshmen, transfers, student mentors, faculty and staff will spread throughout the county to help in places such as Thornhill Nature Preserve, Headstart, Boys and Girls Club, Huntington Public Library, Dan Quayle Center, YMCA, Youth Services Bureau, Huntington House, Kids’ Kampus, American Red Cross, Pathfinders Roanoke Group Home, Seminary UMC in Roanoke, Lincoln Elementary School, Crestview Middle School, Northwest Elementary School, Horace Mann Elementary School, Riverview Middle School, and AngelWorx.

Volunteers will do a variety of tasks including painting, cleaning, landscaping, weeding and more. Some special projects include painting a shed and moving the On-Your-Way-Up store of the Youth Services Bureau, visiting and helping out with various projects for the elderly through AngelWorx, working on an outdoor lab at Northwest Elementary, cleaning the Pathfinders Roanoke Group Home, and various outdoor projects at many of the other locations.

“It’s exciting to see our students out in the community making a positive impact. We are particularly pleased this year to be working with so many of our local schools,” said Joanne Miller, the College’s director of new student programs and advisor to the Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service. “I think this is a great activity for freshmen and transfers as it shows them that Huntington College strongly believes in service to the community, a way that we can impact the world for Christ.”

Founded in 1992, the Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service has become an integral part of Huntington College campus life. During the 2001-02 school year, the Joe Mertz Center documented approximately 13,000 hours of volunteer service contributed by students, faculty and staff.

Huntington College’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service is a student-directed organization that mobilizes the campus community for Christian service. The Joe Mertz Center 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.

The new student-mentoring program allows upperclassmen to spend a semester with incoming students. In connection with a faculty advisor, the mentor helps new students adjust to college life in their first semester at HC. Mentors meet with new students individually and as a group and are actively involved in organizing the Volunteer Plunge.

The following is a list of the 2002 mentors for the incoming Huntington College students:

Name Hometown

Kelly Aspacher Churubusco, Ind.

Matt Bruce Fort Wayne, Ind.

Leah Coon Sand Creek, Mich.

Kari Demeter Warsaw, Ind.

Jeff Edgel Grand Ledge, Mich.

Kati Hultman Spring Arbor, Mich.

Jami Kelley Centreville, Mich.

Katie Lloyd Bryan, Ohio

Tyanne Malfait Woodburn, Ind.

Ed Neuenschwander Berne, Ind.

Kat Nix Fort Wayne, Ind.

Jordan Phillips Mansfield, Ohio

Lauren Powell Greens Fork, Ind.

Abbie Rogers Lacon, Ill.

Brandon Schall Kokomo, Ind.

Jen Schmidt Indianapolis, Ind.

Liz Scoville Lake Odessa, Mich.

Nate Vandlen Dimondale, Mich.

Brooke Welch Berne, Ind.

Gretta Yoder Berne, Ind.

Huntington College is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 60 academic concentrations. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana.

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Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
260.359.4129
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director
260.359.4284