posted Jun 14, 2012 in ACADEMICS
McPherson College students have proven their heart for helping others, logging an incredible 17,323 hours of volunteer service in the 2011-2012 academic year – that's the equivalent of a single volunteer putting in 40-hour work weeks without a break for more than eight years.
"Believing that the Spirit of God is within those who extend themselves to serve others, McPherson College had a Spirit-filled year of service to others," said Tom Hurst, director of service at McPherson College. "Literally reaching from our campus around the world, our students extended themselves by sharing their God-given gifts with individuals and organizations in need of assistance."
The students went a step above this year – 17,323 hours is a more than 54 percent increase compared to the previous year.
And it wasn't just the actions of a few that met this mark. More than 94 percent of enrolled students participated in service with an average of more than 30 hours given – an indicator of the culture of service that runs throughout McPherson College.
McPherson College made an effect on campus, in McPherson, around the nation and even around the globe with 244 events and projects that benefitted 164 organizations or locations.
Julie Escobar, '12, Brush, Colo., gave of her time during spring break and throughout the year in McPherson at The Cedars, a retirement community.
"Service is wonderful," Escobar said. "The residents really enjoyed spending time with us. Spending spring break working at Camp Mount Hermon with college alumni, working together and living together in a community was important because we were showing our alumni how important service is as a part of the college experience."
Emilee Reinert, senior, Tipton, Kan., also gave her spring break to travel to Arab, Ala., to work with Brethren Disaster Services to help families rebuild after a tornado in April 2011. She saw how much the experience influenced students just starting their college career.
I noticed that the freshmen began to stand up and take on leadership positions based on the skills they could share in rebuilding tornado-destroyed houses. We all said that we were not going to stop working until the job was done, the house looked great and the family could once again see that they would have a house to live in.”
For all the help others received from McPherson College volunteers, they received benefits in their personal lives as well.
"The joy of giving of self was apparent on the McPherson College campus this year," Hurst said. "To selflessly give time, energy and creative thought and action to be part of another’s life is to interact with our world in a way that blesses the giver and the receiver."