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Six Consecutive Years of Increasing Community Service Hours at Lebanon Valley College
06.02.14 |

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Lebanon Valley College students reported 23,810.5 hours of service during the 2013–2014 academic year, equaling $536,926.77 worth of service, mostly for the greater Lebanon community but also included triple digit hours served internationally. Twelve LVC students spent a week in May working with members of the Mismińay community on various educational, cultural, and social projects.

"We're particularly pleased to record 450 hours of international community service for this past year, and that not just from Peru, but also from students studying abroad," said Rev. Paul Fullmer, Ph.D., chaplain and director of service and volunteerism. "The President's Innovation Fund has generously funded a service trip to Puerto Rico for May 2015. Plans are also under consideration for service trips in the coming academic year to Honduras, and possibly Kenya."

The annual total is the highest since the standards for qualified hours were refined six years ago. Students reported 23,431 qualified service hours in 2012-2013, 20,039 hours in 2011–2012, 17,877 hours in 2010–2011, 15,671 hours in 2009–2010, and 13,334 hours in 2008–2009.

Qualified community service hours represent time dedicated to the interests of others for which an individual does not receive financial compensation. The hours must be served during the academic year for work that directly benefits either people experiencing poverty, discrimination, abuse, poor health, old age, and/or physical-mental limitations or the protection of animals or the environment. Specific guidelines regulate the reporting of hours served as part of an academic course, traveling to and from service sites, etc.

Award-winning Service

During the 2013–2014 academic year, 23 students earned sufficient community service hours to qualify for Gold Community Service Awards, having served more than 100 hours and having completed a multi-day residential service project. An awards system has been developed as an incentive for students to serve the community. Service awards are posted to the student's Job Center Profile where prospective employees may note the involvement. Students who serve 25–60 hours receive a Bronze Community Service Award, 61–99 hours of service merit a Silver Award, and more than 100 hours of service in addition to participation in a residential project of at least three days earns students a Gold Award.

Overall, the students represented 74 student organizations, residence halls, athletic teams, and academic departments. Three campus groups were recognized for completing more qualified service hours than other organizations: the Men's Ice Hockey Team, Habitat for Humanity student organization, and Valley Volunteers.

Valuing Community Service

According to the Independent Sector, a coalition of leading nonprofits, corporations, and foundations, volunteer time was valued at $22.55 per hour during 2013. The dollar value of the students' volunteer time is calculated by multiplying their 23,810.5 hours of service by that hourly rate. This figure is based on the average hourly earnings of all production and non-supervisory workers on private non-farm payrolls (as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The Independent Sector increases this figure by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits.

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