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Community offers opportunities for service

By Taylor Wilkerson

Becoming involved in community service projects and organizations can seem difficult. Just the initial phase of finding a project or organization with which to become involved is a challenge in itself, but Shorter and the Rome community have ample projects, clubs and organizations in which students can take part.

Students do not even have to look off campus to find opportunities for community service. They can join clubs such as Baptist Collegiate Ministries and International Justice Mission. These clubs hold many outreach and service events. Many clubs and organizations encourage students who are not members to participate in their service projects.

Spirit nights at Sweet Frog and Chick-fil-a, the Footsteps of Faith shoe drive and canned food drives are just a few ways students can become involved. Shorter students are encouraged to be active in community service as early as freshman year. The learning communities, of which all freshman are part, perform two service projects per year.

This year Gina Floyd, Director of Student Engagement and Success, organized service projects for the learning communities. Freshmen students volunteered at either the Rome Community Kitchen or Rome Action Ministries with their learning community.  Both organizations work to provide food for needy and homeless individuals.

Upperclassmen are more than welcome to join a learning community on their service day.

Performing a service project with your peers is an awesome opportunity. Floyd said the freshmen respond positively to participating in the service project.

“Over and over again, students list the community service project each semester as one of the top things that enhances their freshman seminar and learning community experience,” Floyd said, “In fact, they often ask if we can do more activities like this because they enjoy serving others and getting involved in the community with their peers.”

Finding a group to serve with eases extra stress and enhances the experience. Churches around Rome perform service projects with their college and career groups. This is an easy way to get involved and enjoy the company of others.

Sarah Curlee, a sophomore pre-nursing major, has loved participating in different service projects with her college and career group from Hollywood Baptist Church of Rome.

“It was a simple way for me to get involved and give back to the community,” said Curlee.

Getting involved starts by simply asking students or faculty about the different opportunities available through Shorter and around the community.

Both Floyd and Tam Odom, assitant dean of students, have access to a list of potential volunteer projects with Floyd County organizations. The Floyd County 211 Director Jim Bradshaw provided the list as a reference to adults and students willing to help.

“These are some of the many worthwhile organizations to consider helping,” stated Bradshaw.

Most faculty on Shorter’s campus are more than willing to help students become involved with community service. They know the benefits community service experience provides.

If there is any opportunity to get involved, consider taking it. Community services give you the opportunity to participate in a group that is aimed to help those in need.