Catalysts for Positive Change: Averett Students Introduced to Ample Service Opportunities through University

Posted on August 18th, 2022 by Matt Bell

Mission in action: that’s the charge nearly 80 new Averett University students experienced at the University’s new Service Plunge event in which students had the opportunity to learn more about ways to serve the community. Through service projects and learning experiences, students are prepared to leave Averett and serve as catalysts for positive change across the globe.

Averett University students were introduced to service related activities Monday, Aug. 15, by the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC) at Averett in Carrington Gym.

In all, 77 students learned more about service opportunities held throughout the semester during the plunge by the CCECC and participated in several assembly projects during the morning.

“Most students spend four years of their lives here with us learning and preparing to enter the marketplace. We think it is important to not only give back, but to also leave the community a little better than they found it. There are multiple avenues to accomplish just that through rehab projects, cleanup events, hygiene assembly kits and more throughout the academic year,” Dean of Engaged Learning and CCECC Executive Director Billy Wooten said.

One of the projects held Monday will assist eastern Kentuckians that were impacted by record flooding in July. Students volunteered to assemble hygiene kits for adults and care kits for children. Books were also included for children and were donated by alumna Jennifer Hoge Williams ’90.

“Just imagine $1 billion in infrastructure wiped out overnight by flooding, and those are things that can return to normal eventually. But there are people who were lost in that storm, 38 in total, who will never return. That’s an even higher cost and there’s hundreds more still missing,” Wooten said.

The items assembled for Kentucky will go to the Christian Appalachian Project for distribution.

Other kits that were assembled were for those seeking help with HAVEN of the Dan River Region, House of Hope, The Salvation Army and W.W. Moore Detention Center.

Haven, an organization that helps women in abusive situations, received literature kits assembled by students. The House of Hope, located at North Ridge and Patton Streets in Danville, received hygiene kits that also included some other items such as reusable utensils.

“Once you get into volunteerism here, you’ll realize volunteers basically run this city. Volunteers thrive because they use their passions and skills to impact this community and empower those they reach,” Jude Swanson ’14, Averett alumnus and House of Hope executive director, said.

The Salvation Army received food kits for distribution throughout Danville.

“Part of what we do is fix hot meals for people. Sadly, that’s the only meal some people receive for the entire day,” Lt. Antonio Hodges with the Salvation Army said. He noted that projects that result in an overflow of supplies are not wasted, and go to help others in need around the world.