Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Student volunteer endeavors capture the spirit of Heritage Day community service awards

Sara Winans and her fellow HST students make a difference in the community.

Kendra Barnes and the softball team made a hit with Pioneer School students.

Shania Logan and Emily Ross took a decorative approach to helping area families.

By student public relations writer Leah Sternberger
There is a long history of volunteerism at Ohio University-Chillicothe. In the spirit of serving the region, OU-C students have taken on several service projects this fall to make a positive difference in the lives of others.


Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Human Services Association (HSA) student organization is gearing up for their annual Halloween themed service event. The club will be hosting the 10th annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the Shoemaker Center. Over the past decade, the event has become a much anticipated seasonal staple for the surrounding community.

The purpose of the event is to give local children and families a safe, family-friendly environment to celebrate Halloween. HSA students have partnered with more than 50 local businesses to provide children with treat tables, bounce houses, arts & crafts, face painting, and games. Pizza and drinks will also be available for purchase.

While admission is free, the HSA has asked those who attend to bring a donation of gently used or new coats, jeans or other clothing for the children’s clothing bank and/or non-perishable food items. The food items will be donated to the Good Samaritan Network.

HSA officers and members have been working hard to prepare for the event including working at bake sales and raffles to earn donations to purchase supplies. They have spent hours collecting event sponsors, designing and distributing promotional flyers and meeting regularly to discuss the logistics of the event.

HSA Co-President Sara Winans said that she believes all of their efforts are well worth their time knowing that the community will benefit.

“Giving back is one of the best things you can do for your community,” said Winans. “That's what makes the world go round. To pay it forward is a wonderful way to help your community. And I am happy to do all I can for mine.”

Last year, HSA collected more than 300 pounds of food and a van load of blue jeans, coats, and other clothing items for the Children's Clothing Bank.


In anticipation of the holiday season, two Central Processing Center (CPC) student employees are co-sponsoring a Halloween themed service project of their own to collect canned goods. OU-C students Shania Logan and Emily Ross have created a Halloween Door Decorating Contest to benefit The Good Samaritan Network, a local food bank.

To participate, OU-C departments are asked to decorate their doors for Halloween and place a pumpkin box outside of their office. Students, staff, faculty and the community are invited to place canned goods in the pumpkin box of the door with the best decorations. The door with the most votes, tallied by the number of canned goods collected, will win a pizza party donated by Cristy’s Pizza.

Ross, a junior who is majoring in early childhood education, was inspired to sponsor the decorating contest by her love of Halloween decorations and her desire to help others.

“With Thanksgiving coming up soon, I hope that the donations to the Good Samarian Network help a family in need. I also hope to bring the campus departments closer together by raising awareness around campus,” said Ross. “As a student, the most rewarding part is remembering that even the little things make a difference. Everyone can make an impact, no matter how small.”

Logan hopes the contest will inspire others to volunteer. “I hope this event motivates other people to find a way to get involved in the community. I hope that people look into already existing opportunities in the community and also take initiative in creating new and exciting ideas as well,” she said.


Recently, the Hilltopper softball team held a clinic for Pioneer School students. The Pioneer School’s mission is to provide life opportunities for children and adults in Ross County who have developmental disabilities. The clinic held at the VA Memorial Stadium covered the basics of softball and provided much more for the Chillicothe Campus and Pioneer School students.

OU-C Softball Coach George Beck said, “I believe it is important to foster the concept of ‘service to others’ as we move through this world. My players are expected to think of others before themselves and the Pioneer clinic is an important part of their educational progress. The Pioneer kids were happy and full of smiles and my players really enjoyed every minute of the event.”

For many students on the OU-C softball team, the clinic provided a unique opportunity to use their passion for softball to help others.

“I decided to participate in the clinic because I love the game and I wanted to share it with others,” said OU-C softball player Kendra Barnes. “It's important to get involved in events like these because it's good for people to come together and help others through the activities they love.”

“This experience will certainly help me in my future,” Barnes said. “I’m currently studying early childhood development, but I am going to switch to K-12 intervention specialist next semester. Being able to work with the kids helped me experience what I want to pursue in my career.”

Beck and the players who participated in the clinic hope to make it an annual event.


In this spirit of community service, OU-C is recognizing similar endeavors through the third annual Heritage Day Community Service Awards at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 in the Stevenson Learning Center Commons. The service awards will recognize current and former students who are making a positive impact in their communities, locally or globally.

The service awards include:


These awards recognize current students (either individuals or groups) who are actively involved in efforts such as community outreach, volunteer activities and/or philanthropy efforts, either formally or informally.


These awards are designed to recognize individuals who have attended OU-C within the last five years and who have demonstrated outstanding service to their local communities or the global community through efforts such as volunteer activities, participation/leadership in civic organizations, philanthropy, engagement with OU-C and other service projects, either formally or informally.

To nominate a possible recipient, submit a nomination letter of 200 words or fewer by 5 p.m. on Oct. 30 to Kim McKimmy at and/or Jack Jeffery at and include ‘Service Award Nomination’ in the subject line.

Letters should clearly describe the service activities the nominee has engaged in that warrant consideration for an award. Nominators should also indicate which award the nomination is for as well as their contact information and that of those individuals being nominated.

1 comment:

Kent Sommer said...

The places I saw here are really wonderful, celebrating a special event like this with the beauty of nature is really cool. When you are in this venue NYC, there's nothing you can do than to be happy. I really liked it here.