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December 5, 2013carrierweb.png

100th Mountain Day to be celebrated with service initiative 

Megan Reed, Campus Carrier News Editor

Beginning next month, students, faculty and alumni will be commemorating the 100th Mountain Day by serving their communities as part of the 100 for our 100th service initiative.

The initiative will begin on Jan. 20, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with a day of service, and culminate on the 100th Mountain Day in October. Individuals and groups, including student organizations, alumni families and academic departments, will be encouraged to serve others using the theme of the number 100.

A planning committee for the initiative listed ideas such as completing 100 hours of service, helping 100 people or collecting 100 items to be donated to a food pantry or shelter.

Vice President of Student Affairs Debbie Heida, who serves on the committee, said planning began last spring as part of the college’s strategic planning process. 

Heida said the goals of the initiative are to “find new ways to encourage service” and “new opportunities for people to think about service.”

Another purpose of the initiative is to encourage more conversation about service and allow people to share their volunteering experiences, Heida said.

“We’ve had a great deal of difficulty getting students to tell us through BCVS [Berry College Volunteer Services] when they’re engaged in service,” Heida said. “One of the best parts of Berry students is they’re very humble about what they do…it’s really important for us as a college to be able to talk about the engagement of our students.”

A website for the initiative will be launched next month and will highlight participants’ service experiences.

Heida said alumni who work for non-profit organizations or have led service efforts could come speak at Berry as part of the program.

Senior Sydney Hulebak, student director of BCVS, also serves on the committee to plan the initiative. She said BCVS will be helping connect students with non-profit organizations and service opportunities.

Hulebak said that the service day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be expanded and will focus on the launch of the initiative. Community partners for this day include Harbor House and Habitat for Humanity. National Volunteer Week in April will also promote the initiative. Alumni will be encouraged to volunteer in their own communities on these service days.

BCVS will also be releasing a poster detailing 100 ways to serve, including taking canned food donations to Rome Action Ministries or volunteering with Challenger Sports.

Sophomore Ree Palmer, SGA secretary and member of the planning committee, said SGA will help promote the initiative and encourage individuals and group to volunteer. These service experiences could also fulfill volunteer credits which organizations must complete  for SGA.

The initiative will end on Mountain Day 2014, which will be held on Oct. 4. Students, faculty, alumni and visitors will have the opportunity to donate canned food for a large collective donation as part of the celebration.

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