Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 16, 2018

FYE Gives Back to Community with Service Projects

Kaleigh Gabriel


First-year students on the Manchester campus are kicking off the last week before Thanksgiving Break by giving back to their community.

As part of First Year Experience requirements, students are expected to complete a community service project to benefit the campus or the larger Manchester community. Projects range from preparing a meal for a local family dinner to raising awareness for the Planned Parenthood organization on campus. Students have also organized bake sales, cleanup crews and student surveys about safety.

First-year Becca Colbert is working with her group to create no-sew dog toys. “We plan to donate them to shelters and vet clinics to help give recovering dogs and those waiting for a home something to enjoy,” Colbert said.

One of Colbert’s group mates, Lilli Cook, adds that these toys will help to keep local pets happy while also cultivating their interests. “Our group chose to do this project because we all have a huge connection and love for animals” Cook said.

Th e group plans to begin assembling the dog toys this week and will deliver them before the holiday week commences so that family pets and animals waiting for homes will have something to enjoy. Another group is planning to raise money for a local Lego club. Becky Long said while walking through the town’s farmer’s market, she learned that a young boy had started a Lego Club at the local North Manchester Library. However, he lacked the funds to buy more Legos for the club and therefore was selling pumpkins and gourds to help raise money for his cause. In light of this, a group has started a bake sale of items like chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, and cupcakes in which the proceeds will be donated to help the North Manchester Library buy more Legos.

Rachel Kimble, another member of the group, said that this project was designed to help cultivate a fun organization for the children. “Legos foster creativity, encourage teamwork, and help develop problem solving skills that will greatly benefit local children,” Kimble said.

The group will have a table at the local farmer’s market tomorrow morning, Nov. 17. They also plan to set up a table on campus the Monday before break if there are enough baked goods left to sell.

Another group of first-years has planned a program called Change 4 Change, where students can receive free condoms and tampons along with information about Planned Parenthood. While the organization has no affiliation inside Indiana, students in this group believe knowledge of contraceptives is important for all college students. Student Maddie Shepard said that all funds raised will go toward the Planned Parenthood nonprofit.

Another organization has been working with Campus Safety to establish places where more lighting can be added to increase safety around campus. Student Mary McGuire and her group have done a series of group surveys to help identify where students feel the most unsafe and how it can be improved. “Our SOL group hopes through this project we can help other students feel more secure on campus,” McGuire said. The group will continue to work with students through surveys and emails to help increase the feelings of safety on campus after the initial week.

First-year students have designed an array of community service projects to aide campus and the community of North Manchester. Be sure to watch out for the upcoming projects across campus, whether it be a table handing out condoms and pamphlets for Planned Parenthood or a table full of baked goodies for sale. Although it is a class requirement, first-year students are going above and beyond to design useful projects to help improve the community and provide toys to dogs.