More than 7,000 men and boys served as “Seagoing Cowboys,” delivering cows, horses, feed and fertilizer by ship
to war-ravaged nations.
Dan West ’17 was guided by unwaivering faith in God and in human nature.
Erin Cole ’10 spent January
helping immigrants in Houston
with diet challenges.
Case Studies in Business class,
led by Ellie Davis ’08, presents a
$1,600 check for a local youth
hangout and music venue.
Thomas Bimba ’09
with children at Camp Mack.
Jessica Mullin '10 traveled with the medical practicum to Nicaragua in January with Dr. Bill Fike, a
Angelett Wells ’12 with
Frances Johnson of her centenarian service learning project.
Lauren Houser '10 participated in a reading project at Manchester Elementary School.
ERIN COLE ’10 SPENT JANUARY IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, LIVING AND SERVING in a homeless shelter for immigrants and helping at a neighboring clinic.
“Most of the time, the women are ill, battered and fled for safety, have a child and no husband, or have a husband that was deported,” she blogged during her work with Pathways, one of Manchester College’s hundreds of service opportunities.
“One of my most important tasks was to research minerals in foods and create a bilingual diet list for Maria, an ill woman in the house with severe diabetes that has left her with 50 percent kidney failure,” wrote the biology-chemistry major. “Her strict diet forbids many foods that are staples of the local diet: rice, beans, tomatoes, cereal ... I know it helped her and the others understand how necessary her diet restrictions are for her health.”
Cole reflected on her future: “I hope to continue to do community work and help others as I learn more Spanish, more about other cultures, more about medicine, and more about who I want to be in this world.”
A recent survey by Parade magazine found that 78 percent of Americans polled believe the actions of one person can improve the world.
Manchester College has a service survey, too. Each year, students, faculty and staff members are asked to report their volunteer hours. It’s an important request: The College uses those demonstrations of commitment in its applications for grants, program funding and other support.
The volunteer total hovers around 19,000 hours annually. Despite a well-run Office of Volunteer Services that provides a funnel for many service opportunities, the tally is but a guess for Manchester, which annually appears on the federal President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Service learning is a culture of Manchester College, both deliberately and out of habit, familial upbringing, and example. Students, faculty and staff members rarely take time to puzzle out all the hours they give to their communities, their churches, their College, their favorite causes. They just do … for others.
Most classes incorporate service learning, as do Spartan athletics, campus organizations, student orientations and faith-based programs.
Some service is overwhelmingly impossible to add up – especially the week-long Habitat for Humanity spring breaks to rebuild homes in the South, or the arduous January medical practicum into Nicaragua, or the soccer team’s shouldering of heavy loads in Nigeria or Jamaica (on the cover of this issue).
In Jamaica last January, the soccer team and Coach Dave Good joined Marcie Coulter-Kern’s social psychology class on three days of work projects for a school for deaf children. The group also committed $7,000 in donations toward the school, and two Jamaica peace and justice organizations.
Of course, some giving of self is easy to add up, such as the 2,800 hours the campus chapter of Indiana Reading Corps spends tutoring elementary children in reading skills. Or student-athletes mentoring youngsters in after-school programs that emphasize health and physical activities.
Manchester students, faculty and staff help with Special Olympics, Read Across America Day, breast cancer awareness and countless other national programs that help make this a better world.
Manchester likes to collect stuff, too. Food and clothing drives are the price of admission for campus performances, supporting the local food pantry and shelters for the homeless and the abused. Each November, students go door to door in the community. (Twice! First hanging the bags for filling, then collecting almost 2 tons of food for the local pantry.)
Even blood donors are surpassing goals, reports Erin Cartwright ’11, student coordinator of campus involvement. “We usually have four blood drives a year,” says the peace studies major, noting that the February drive drew 81 donors, including 17 first-timers and exceeded the goal by more than 12 percent.
Students serve meals at Ronald McDonald House in Indianapolis, help abused children feel at home in a local shelter, create memory boxes for retirement center residents, guide area Hispanic immigrants to social service agencies and the English language, and help the elderly with their income taxes, their computers and fitness.
They walk for money for cancer cures, AIDS victims, the hungry and homeless.
They restore murals and stained glass windows and help rebuild a popular youth hangout. They count birds and trees, measure fish and talk about owls.
They do helpful research on school bullies, prisoner relations, student interactions with their families, aging muscles and learning cycles. They even do research on service learning.
They sing and play their instruments for community, school and church events.
Last fall, Spartan softball and soccer players and athletic trainers did grunt work for an ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition of a Kokomo family’s residence. “I really enjoy watching the show, and getting the chance to help out a family in need is awesome,” says management major and infielder Rosie Bond ’10. “It is a great cause because you know this family is going through a rough time. I would be happy to help out in any way.”
Manchester College service learning is well-known at Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents – representing 6 million students – dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement and service-learning in higher education.
With an Indiana Campus Compact grant, for example, the Political Science Club led a “Rock the Vote” voter registration drive for the last presidential election and psychology students led conflict resolution training for area youth.
This academic year, MC faculty members have received more than $24,000 in Campus Compact grants. Over the past five years, Manchester faculty members have received 26 fellowships or grants from Campus Compact.
There’s more: Each spring, senior business majors form a non-profit corporation, complete with officers, products, marketing and distribution departments. This year, the beneficiary of their profits is a new community swimming pool still in the planning stages.
“We did this project for the first time in the spring of 2001,” says Professor Tim Ogden ’87, chair of the Department of Accounting and Business. “I was looking for an experiential learning tool that would simultaneously give students more of a real-world experience and help them to see how all of the pieces of a business fit together and have to work together.”
Pathways, a transformation of Theological Explorations in Vocations (TEV), immerses students in opportunities to find their passion – and their paths – to a lifetime of service. Like Erin Cole at the beginning of this article, Mandy Mauk ’11 took a 10-week service adventure last summer, working in a Washington, D.C., hospice.
“Before this experience, it hadn’t crossed my mind that service could be anything other than performing kind or needed physical acts for someone or for some cause. There always had to be some sort of physical, working, act involved,” blogged the biology-chemistry major.
“For hospice care, perhaps the greatest service one could give was simply showing that you were there. Often times this meant simply listening, or holding their hand, or giving them your full attention.
“You don’t have to be cleaning up the White River to perform an act of service. You can just simply show someone that you care.”
There’s passion for service-learning, and then there’s Carole ....
“COORDINATOR OF CENTER FOR SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES” is Carole Miller-Patrick’s official title. “Role model” is more apt.
When she burst onto the Manchester College scene in 2002, it was to lead the campus Indiana Reading Corps (IRC), an AmeriCorps program. At the time, the College – one of the first IRC sites in the state – provided about three dozen students as reading coaches in two local elementary schools.
Carole was everywhere instantly, engaging College students and principals, youngsters, future teachers and funders in literacy and raising reading levels. In a few short years, Manchester students from every discipline imaginable were tutoring almost 500 children in 23 schools to rave reviews from very happy principals. Reading abilities were climbing, with many students jumping two levels as they caught the book bug from their MC tutors.
In 2008, the Indiana Campus Compact’s honored Carole for her community service connections at its Governor’s Conference on Service and Volunteerism. Carole hardly paused to take a deep breath, adding more service opportunities for Manchester students to make their world better – especially to make the College’s northern Indiana neighborhood better. She’s hands-on, pitching in with the volunteers, setting the example ... and because she can’t contain her enthusiasm for service.
“Carole’s success is about relationships,” says President Jo Young Switzer. “She continually develops partnerships across campus and around the community for the benefit of service programs. Her energy, passion and thoughtful work demonstrate to students what a difference true service can make.”
Today, Carole mentors hundreds of student volunteers, not only expanding their service-learning experiences but delegating responsibility so they can develop leadership skills to follow service passions throughout their lives.
Helping Haiti, on campus and in person
SCORES OF ALUMNI AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE College community swiftly stepped forward in the wake of the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti, from contributing to or leading fund-raisers on campus to personally journeying to the devastated Caribbean country.
For some, like Dan Follas ’74 of Indianapolis, Haiti relief has long been a habit, the result of his compassion, mission trips and Board leadership with Lifeline Christian Mission.
In March, North Manchester family physician Lori Zimmerman ’92 joined a Brethren Disaster Relief medical mission to Haiti, working in mobile clinics that saw 200 patients each day.
On campus, donors sported homemade “Hope for Haiti” pins, volunteers zipped up hygiene kits into plastic bags and Chartwell’s food service pitched in with a spaghetti buffet and pizza fundraisers. The total: $3,256 for the American Red Cross and Save the Children.
Service by habit: MC staff, faculty set example
|Jay Nussel, executive director of development, was among several dozen employees who pitched in for a campus clean-up event.
MANCHESTER COLLEGE EMPLOYEES SERVE ON COMMUNITY and church committees and boards – some starting their skills-giving at 7 a.m. meetings. They fill their lunch and dinner hours with full agendas and struggle late into the night with complex community decisions and projects.
They volunteer time and expertise to town councils, chamber boards and library and community foundation boards. They are officers of service organizations such as Rotary International, Lions Club and Kiwanis and they help with festivals.
They knit – and teach students to knit – caps and blankets for fragile premature babies struggling for their lives.
They guide a diverse array of organizations and groups that seek to embark on new missions, collaborations, challenges.
Some stick their necks out, and run for political office or the school board.
They also provide fascinating programs for area service organizations. They lead library circles and botany walks and geriatric programs and yoga classes and dance classes.
They serve on boards of retirement centers, public radio, tourism, museum, emergency services, economic development and education. They step up with expertise for task forces on domestic violence, river pollution, downtown renovation, community centers and law enforcement.
They provide expertise, authority, clear-thinking, compassion.
Preserving the vision of Dan West ’17
“Look out, reach across and become aware.”
“THE VISION AND COMMITMENT OF DAN WEST ’17 is woven throughout the fabric of this institution,” asserts Manchester College President Jo Young ’69 Switzer about the founder of Heifer International who also helped inspire Brethren Volunteer Services and the College’s peace studies program.
This spring, Dan West fans from throughout the nation gathered at the College to reflect on his legacy and to dedicate a permanent display in Funderburg Library commemorating his inspiration for what would become Heifer International.
“Dan West was a man with a mission – to help people, to end hunger and to make the world a better place for everyone,” says Jo Luck, president of Heifer International, which financed the display. “We are proud to carry on his work with the families and the children he loved so much around the world.”
During his service during the Spanish Civil War, West witnessed the challenge of feeding people in need. Part of his role was to distribute imported powdered milk, providing only immediate, brief relief. Thus was born his “not a cup, but a cow,” inspiration, which today lives on as Heifer International.
West returned home and shared his idea with farming neighbors and congregations in northern Indiana, who began raising “Heifers for Relief” for overseas shipment. The young cows would not only produce milk, but also calves to be passed on to other families in need, in a cycle of enduring sustenance.
In more ways than one, Heifer International is about Faith. A young Guernsey cow named Faith was the first animal offered in Heifers for Relief. In summer 1944, she traveled to Puerto Rico, where she faithfully provided milk to a family with 10 children.
Between the summers of 1945 and 1947, through a partnership of the Brethren Service Committee and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, more than 7,000 men and boys served as “Seagoing Cowboys,” delivering cows, horses, feed and fertilizer by ship to war-ravaged nations.
Following World War II, “Heifer Project” was incorporated as an independent nonprofit corporation. Today, Heifer International works in more than 50 countries to end poverty and hunger with donations of cows and other livestock and plants (and education in sustainable agriculture) to financially-disadvantaged families.
West was a conscientious objector during World War I. When World War II broke out, he sought to establish a volunteer service program that would be an alternative to military service for objectors to war. At his encouragement, church youth pushed the denomination to form Brethren Volunteer Service in 1948. BVS remains a vibrant program to advocate for justice, work for peace, and care for the environment.
West also envisioned classes and studies in peacemaking. Conversations between Manchester College President Vernon Schwalm ’13, Gladdys Muir and West led to creation of the nation’s first undergraduate program in peace studies. West taught the first class. Today, Manchester’s Peace Studies students, faculty and graduates continue to explore the frontiers of nonviolent alternatives to conflict.
Photographs and other artifacts of Dan West in the College archives and the new Heifer International display will remind Manchester students of how ordinary people with deep-rooted faith and conviction can imagine – and do– extraordinary service.