Monday, October 14, 2013

Upcoming Trick or Treat Extravaganza stresses value of community service

By public relations student writer Mallory Laird

The Human Services Association (HAS) of Ohio University-Chillicothe will sponsor the Eighth Annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza (TOTE) from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 in OU-C’s Shoemaker Center. Admission is $2 or a donation of a coat, jeans or four canned goods per person.

In keeping with the organization’s emphasis on community service, HSA is sponsoring the event to support the social service agencies of the Good Samaritan Network and the Children’s Clothing Bank, according to HSA Co-President Aaron Chaney.

“The mission of the Human Services Association is to support social service agencies through volunteerism, awareness campaigns, and help with networking. At times, the Human Services Association has supported agencies by sponsoring small fund raisers,” program coordinator and associate professor Barbara Mahaffey said.

Participating in the TOTE helps to prepare OU-C students for their future careers, especially those in the Human Services Technology program.

“We have the opportunity to meet and network with social service workers, and students learn skills that will help them when working in careers in the field,” Mahaffey said. “The students learn how to plan and organize awareness campaigns. They also promote more opportunities for potential clients to meet social service workers and promote healthy and safe activities for all ages and diversities.”

Brandy Diehl, an HSA member who is a student leader of the event, enjoys the helping people, which is what draws her to this academic major and the trick or treat event.

“The reason I got involved with this organization is because of the community service done by the groups of members that we have,” Diehl said. “I love helping people. It is the whole reason that I am taking the classes that I am taking. It is an awesome feeling to do something good for someone. Trick or Treat Extravaganza is all about helping the children have a safe and fun Halloween. This is what the Human Services Association does for the parents and children who attend our annual event.”

The Human Services Association also sponsors other community service-related activities. “We have also sponsored car shows for the Ross County Mental Health Association, and all of the money earned supports a Human Services Technology scholarship for $500. They have given either one or two scholarships to students each year since the early 1980s,” Mahaffey said.

Organizations, businesses, agencies and interested persons are needed to sponsor treat tables, game prizes, bounce houses, activities and arts and craft supplies for the Trick or Treat Extravaganza. The treat table sponsors are to bring sealed bags of store purchased candy and arrive at the Shoemaker gym after 5 p.m. the day of the event.  Further information about the event can be obtained by contacting Mahaffey at (740) 774-7287 or by email at mahaffey@ohio.edu.

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