Huntington, Ind.— Huntington College’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service has had a busy year. As a campus community, HC students, staff and faculty, have given nearly 18,000 hours of volunteer service. These hours include volunteer service specifically through the Joe Mertz Center as well as personal hours donated to local churches, organizations and community activities. The community programs the Joe Mertz Center is involved include, but are not limited to, the following:
Bridges: A tutoring program that matches up an HC student with an elementary or junior high student from a local school
Bingo Buddies: This program gives students an opportunity to visit and play bingo with elderly residents at two local nursing homes.
Childcare: The Joe Mertz Center works with several organizations/churches to provide childcare for some great community programs geared at equipping and teaching parents how to become more effective.
Pathfinder: Once a week, HC students have the opportunity to interact with mentally and physically disabled residents at the Roanoke Pathfinder group home.
There are many other avenues students, faculty, and staff have found to serve in the Huntington area. Along with on-going programs, the Joe Mertz Center also plans one-time events. These include the annual Volunteer Plunge, held during orientation weekend, as well as a variety of Spring Break trips. This year, the JMC sent Spring Break teams to Florida (to work in a Ronald McDonald House) and Ecuador (to work with a school and orphanage). Another service offered through the JMC is organizing several American Red Cross blood drives each year. This is one of the most important services organized and as a College, 190 productive units of blood were donated (up 54 units from last year) through 3 blood drives.
Overall, the JMC worked with over 60 organizations and families throughout the year. The JMC is excited about the increase of hours this year (compared to a total of approximately 10,000 last year) but attribute the increase, in part, to the fact that more people presented their personal volunteer hours to add to the records. The JMC is grateful to all students, staff and faculty who put in service hours whether it was through their organization or individually.
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