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News Release

Moravian College Celebrates Student Volunteerism

More than 6,700 hours of service have been reported this year

Habitat for HumanityBethlehem, Pa., April 24, 2012--Moravian students displayed an increased sense of altruism over spring break this year, participating in service trips like never before. In fact, the number of participants tripled from last year—45 students and 6 faculty/staff dedicated their week off to performing a variety of service projects. To celebrate the service work that Moravian students, faculty, and staff have engaged in, the Center for Leadership and Service will be hosting its 2nd Annual “Celebration of Service” on Tuesday, April 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Pavilion and UBC Room.

According to Nicole Nugent, community service coordinator, the increase may be attributable to the combination of the availability of trips this year and a willingness of the students to look beyond their own wants and needs. “People want to volunteer and do things,” she says. “All you have to do is ask. When we put the structure in place, we have students who want to fill the spots.”She speculates that the service trips’ correlation to the IN FOCUS theme of poverty and inequality may also have encouraged them to give back over break. “More than 6,700 hours of service have been reported this year so far by individuals and clubs,” says Nugent. “This is an amazing figure, and we know it can continue to grow.”

The Moravian College chapter of Habitat for Humanity sponsored two trips this year—one to a small town near New Orleans, La., and the second to Pickens, S.C. Brienne Smith, head women’s soccer coach, and Elisabeth Stoddard, Comenius Center adjunct faculty, traveled with ten students to Louisiana where they sanded and painted to support the ReStore construction efforts of the Bayou Area Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

The second crew of ten students accompanied by Donna Keeler, nursing faculty, and her husband Jim, erected the frame of a house that will soon be dedicated to a deserving family in South Carolina. See pictures and read the students’ blog here.

Nugent joined 11 students in Newark, N.J., where they worked with kids from kindergarten to 12th grade in the after-school program at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark. When not working with the children, they cleaned the center inside and out. View their pictures here.

Also this year, Rev. Hopeton Clennon, Moravian’s chaplain, and 14 Moravian students joined students from Ursinus College at a beach-side campsite called Camp Hope in Westmoreland, Jamaica. This trip was organized through the Religious Life Office. There they spent many hours painting, roofing houses and visiting an orphanage for boys.

To find out more about service trips and opportunities to give time and talent to others, visit the Center for Leadership and Service online. This is the week for students to join others across the country in recognizing National Volunteer Week supported by the Points of Light Institute, and dedicated to honoring the people who commit themselves to taking action, encouraging others and solving problems in their communities. This week, the student staff in the Center for Leadership and Service have organized ways that you can get involved with volunteering.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Moravian partners with students to build a strong foundation for their future. Visit the College’s Web site at www.moravian.edu.