Wednesday, November 14 2012, 12:20 PM EST
TWC Students Donates Thousands of Hours to Community
More than 250 Tennessee Wesleyan College faculty, staff and students performed an overall 1,315 hours of service participating in the college’s annual “Day of Service” on Tuesday. Volunteering at 20 different projects throughout the local community, TWC students participating in this year’s “Day of Service” painted, cleaned, planted and organized at community sites from Athens to Etowah.
“These students can make tangible impacts in the communities where they live,” said Mandie Thacker Beeler, TWC director of the center for servant leadership. “For TWC, the annual ‘Day of Service’ is all about making a big difference in our small town.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for the TWC community to serve the greater Athens and McMinn community. Students really make a huge difference on this day, providing the resources needed to get necessary projects completed that might not otherwise be possible.”
The Center for National and Community Service calculates the national estimate of the dollar value of one volunteer hour to be $21.67. Based on this calculation, TWC made an estimated $28,496.05 economic impact in one day volunteering in the community. Up approximately 100 faculty, staff and students, 6 projects and 560 hours from last year’s inaugural “Day of Service,” this year’s event showed TWC freshmen what the college’s “Learn, Serve, Lead … and Believe” motto truly means.
“It means a lot to me to know that Tennessee Wesleyan, as a leader in the community, makes volunteer work a priority for the college and its students,” said Fallon Stephens, a TWC sophomore majoring in nursing. “There’s no greater feeling than giving back to a community that has given so much to me.”
From painting community buildings to planting trees and doing clean-up duties at Athens Regional Park, the volunteer work performed during this year’s “Day of Service” benefited community members, local ecosystems and even animals placed for adoption at the McMinn Regional Humane Society.
“I think volunteer work is very important,” said Lynette Smith, TWC director of career services. “It allows our students to utilize their skills and abilities to go out into the community and to local businesses to give back services hours that also benefit the students in their education.”
Smith and 10 TWC students deep cleaned the Children’s Advocacy Center during their “Day of Service” volunteer hours. While Smith’s group cleaned toys and bathrooms, a larger group of TWC students performed trail maintenance and planted trees at Athens Regional Park throughout the morning and afternoon.
“These students are planting about 7,000 trees today,” said Shawn Lindsey, public works director for the city of Athens. “Their work is restoring North Mouse Creek. The trees that are planted today will in the future provide habitat for animals, shade for the creek and will help keep the bank from eroding. By volunteering their time, these students are helping stabilize this ecosystem which will prevent flooding and will restore the creek’s water quality.”
Lindsey and other community leaders are appreciative for the volunteer work that Tennessee Wesleyan students perform annually for the college’s “Day of Service.”
“I am profoundly grateful for TWC students,” said Ellen Kimball, executive director for the Athens Area Council for the Arts. “Not only for their ‘Day of Service’ work but also for the work they do every day. They are in and out of here almost on a daily basis. Whenever I need help, I know who to call. TWC students always perform cheerfully and are eager to help.”
While community leaders appreciate TWC’s “Day of Service,” the college also values the community’s efforts to be involved with the project.
“I am so grateful to all of our community partners for allowing us to serve them on this day,” said Beth Makowski, TWC coordinator of the center for servant leadership. “For me, the culmination of this day is such an honor to be a part of. It truly is a blessing to see the service projects come to fruition and see the impact that our students are making.”
Tennessee Wesleyan College, founded in Athens, Tenn., in 1857, is a private liberal arts institution affiliated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. The college’s dedicated faculty and staff believe in providing the resources and support students need to become socially responsible, intellectually skilled and spiritually developed members of our community.