Volunteer Plunge to benefit community, students

Huntington, Ind.— Huntington College classes will begin bright and early Wednesday morning, September 3, but bright and early on Tuesday morning, September 2, over 250 Huntington College students, faculty and staff will lend a hand to various community businesses and citizens. Nineteen teams of freshmen and transfer students plan to participate in the Tenth Annual Volunteer Plunge, a half-day of community service held each year in conjunction with Huntington College's new-student orientation.

“Huntington College seeks to educate men and women to impact their world for Christ. The Volunteer Plunge exposes students to a significant way they can make a difference in their community and the world around,” said Ron Coffey, vice president for Student Development. “I believe that service should be a life-long value. Jesus demonstrated humility and service when he washed the disciples’ feet. Likewise, our students can model similar grace and servant attitude by the acts they perform on this day and for the rest of their lives as they incorporate volunteer service into their set of values.”

HC freshmen and transfer students will arrive Sunday afternoon on August 31, and from there, they will be whisked away into a comprehensive, two-day orientation, culminating in Tuesday’s Plunge. The Plunge offers new students the opportunity to be oriented with the Huntington community and surrounding areas by spending the morning at a work site arranged by the Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service, which is located on the campus of Huntington College.

“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 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.”

The various teams will spread throughout Huntington County on Sept. 2, from 9 a.m.-noon, to help clean, paint, landscape, weed, help the elderly, and work on various outdoor and indoor projects. Volunteers will help in places such as Thornhill Nature Preserve, American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Dan Quayle Center, YMCA, Youth Services Bureau, Kids’ Kampus, Pathfinders Roanoke Group Home, Roanoke Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Northwest Elementary School, Lancaster Elementary School, Horace Mann Elementary School, Riverview Middle School, Crestview Middle School, and AngelWorx.

“It’s exciting to see our students out in the community making a positive impact. We are particularly pleased this year to work with so many of our local schools,” said Joanne Miller, the 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.”

Founded in 1992, the Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service has become an integral part of Huntington College campus life. During the 2002-03 school year, the Joe Mertz Center documented over 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.

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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. The College is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director