Student Success-First Year Experience classes involved in community service

Former professional tennis player and civil rights leader Arthur Ashe once said, “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” This quote was taken to heart by Clair Lewis’s Student Success-First Year Experience (FYE) 101/102 classes. During the “season of giving”, Lewis’s classes made sure they were guilty of giving as they collected and donated over 1,700 food items as a service learning project and a contribution to the less fortunate. The collected food items had two destinations. A portion of the can goods were donated to the Holland Grove Baptist Church of Arcadia.

Spearheaded by Pastor Calvin Worthman, the Holland Grove Baptist Church accepted the food items and in turn, distributed them to local underprivileged families.

The second portion of the food items were sent to St. Lucia to aid in the recovery from the natural disaster Hurricane Tomas that struck Saturday, Oct.30. Thomas left heavy damage in Barbados and significant damage in Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The community service project was made a huge success because each FYE 101/102 student executed his or her part.

Each student was responsible for bringing at least ten unopened food items. The students then creatively decorated the delivery packages, packaged the goods, and distributed the packages to their perspective areas.

Early Sunday morning on Nov. 21 students voluntarily loaded a bus and traveled to Holland Grove Baptist Church to present the food items to the church. Following the presentation, the students had the opportunity to dine and fellowship with each other and other area donators.

To conclude the project, students reflected by writing a paper tying the service learning project to the material learned in class. Lewis’s students learned how to show compassion by giving to the needy and gained valuable experience in teamwork. This was truly an act of kindness that should be used as a model for future community service projects.