By Ashley Sidebottom, staff writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – The first-year students at Campbellsville University were given the opportunity to perform in acts of servitude during the annual Kentucky Heartland Outreach Student Work Days recently.
These community service days are a requirement for first-year students in the freshman year experience class and in the corresponding First Class program.
KHO is a nonprofit organization that builds, rehabilitates and finances affordable housing across Kentucky. Launched by Dr. Michael V. Carter, Campbellsville University president, in 2000, KHO has provided an important student ministry opportunity for CU.
Although KHO became a separate entity in 2003, the organization still works closely with Campbellsville University, according to Andy Woods, chief of operations for KHO.
“KHO helps families who desperately need home repairs to such things as roofs, decks and wheelchair ramps, but cannot afford them. We make these repairs at no cost to the homeowner,” Woods said.
Upperclassmen mentors and KHO staff directed each group of freshmen on the individual work sites.
Candace Sanders, a senior biology major from Lancaster, Ohio, served as a mentor and led a group of 15 volunteers at Campbellsville/Taylor County Rescue.
Sanders said the work days “gave us a chance to bond as a group days before the first classes even started, in a way that united us in purpose.”
“We got to see a snapshot of each person’s character, and allowed us to tangibly serve the community around us all at the same time,” Sanders said. “The KHO Work Days give freshmen a glimpse of the opportunities for service around Campbellsville, which is one of the many reasons I believe CU is so awesome.”
Sanders’ group helped at the rescue squad with a variety of projects.
“We unloaded a month’s worth of supplies, cleaned, rearranged and prepped for painting the upstairs, which was being remodeled, cleaned out a storage facility, unloaded old files to be burned at an incinerator and played with homeless dogs at the animal shelter, which was more for fun than anything else,” Sanders said. “We also got to slide down a fire pole at the station and ride in an ambulance, which all of us enjoyed.”
According to Rusty Watkins, coordinator of summer camps and conferences, there were 274 first-year students, 20 student mentors, KHO staff, plus university faculty and staff who volunteered their time to help during this third-annual KHO work day. These numbers are compared to a total of 350 volunteers the previous year.
The volunteers worked at various sites across the community, and completed numerous jobs including: washing vehicles at the Campbellsville Fire Department, cleaning and landscaping at several local churches, painting at Miller Park, and laying floor tile at St. Thomas Church.
“All of the CU students who helped had an amazing attitude and worked extremely hard. They accomplished a lot for our community,” said Woods.
“The Lord blessed us with great weather, an amazing group of freshmen, volunteers and upperclassmen site leaders,” Woods said. “I have heard many touching stories from church leaders and other community organizations about how much of an impact these students made.”
“The volunteers truly ministered to the residents of Campbellsville and Taylor County through this service project,” said Woods.
For more information about KHO, visit www.khohome.org or call (270) 469-4949 or toll free at (866) 426-1186.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,310 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.