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First Lesson for Incoming LVC Students: The Value of Community Service
08.21.14 |
More than 500 Lebanon Valley College students will participate in a two-hour long service project in the auxiliary gymnasium at the Arnold Sports Center on Sunday, Aug. 24 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The entire incoming Class of 2018 will work with returning student leaders at 15 different stations to make items to be donated to local charities as well as national and international service organizations.

The bulk of the items benefit service organizations in Lebanon County. The Humane Society of Lebanon County will receive 120 fleece blankets made by students during this time for distribution with adopted kittens. Hundreds of "tug toys" will be braided for adopted dogs. Friendship bracelets with rubber athletic charms will be donated for athletes involved in Lebanon County Special Olympics. Four cardboard playhouses will be colored and donated to Habitat for Humanity of Lebanon County. And Lebanon City School District will receive 120 handmade felt puppets.

Several items will be sent to nonprofit organizations outside of the County. Vases filled with cards and brightly colored paper flowers will be delivered to patients of the children's hospital at the Hershey Medical Center. Holiday cards created during the project will be sent throughout the year to families at Hope Lodge in Hershey.

At the national level, students will write letters of encouragement to current military personnel. Plarn-yarn which the students will make from plastic bags-will be mailed to a group of volunteers in West Virginia to be knit into sleeping mats for the homeless. Friendship bracelets mailed to the Cool Kids Campaign will be distributed to children with cancer.

International concerns have not been forgotten. Representatives from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will bring education kits for verification by the students. Hundreds of shoeboxes will be wrapped in Christmas paper in preparation to be filled with toys and sent to children in Africa, Asia and Latin America with Operation Christmas Child.

As they work, the students will enjoy music provided by a live D.J.

The service projects provide a unique opportunity for incoming LVC students to work together as a class toward a common goal. "We're particularly pleased by the high level of involvement on the part of returning students," said LVC Chaplain Paul Fullmer. "All of these projects are being coordinated for the incoming students by returning students who are heavily involved in service organizations on campus."

The Orientation Service Project is the first of a series of programs designed in support of LVC's goal to prepare students for a life of service to others. Throughout the academic year, students will also engage representatives of local service organizations at a service fair, work monthly with the American Foundation for Children with Aids (AFCA) and Habitat for Humanity of Lebanon County, and participate in national service initiatives such as Make a Difference Day, MLK Day of Service, and Lebanon County Day of Caring, among other projects.

To encourage service to the nation as well as the local community, LVC's Student Government has designated funds for a service trip to Pittsburg over spring break. International service trips to Honduras and Puerto Rico are also in initial stages of planning.

Several incentive programs seek to reward students for their service. Bronze, Silver or Gold Community Service Awards based upon the number of hours a student serves the local community are posted on LVC's Job Center Profile for the information of prospective employers. Students who serve the local community are also recognized at an annual banquet and in the commencement program.

Community members who know of active or retired military personnel or residents of local retirement community who might appreciate a note from a college student are welcome to contact Chaplain Fullmer in the Office of Community Service and Volunteerism at 717-867-6135 or The donation of shoeboxes to the Office would also be appreciated.

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