By Alyssa Wilson ~ Assistant Editor
The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) put service plunges into place at the start of the 2020-2021 school year as a way to get students out into the community and achieve the university’s mission of service. These plunges take place on the second Saturday of every month. Last year, these service plunges averaged 30 to 60 students.
Cindy Ferguson, director of CCE, said, “Service plunges are a way for students – all students – to have opportunities to get to know the nonprofits in our area and know the issues that are important to us as well as getting to know the value of service.”
For the first service plunge of the school year, one of the community partners was Brookhill Farm, a retirement center for horses that specializes in “helping horses and people come together to heal”. About seven students signed up specifically for painting fences at Brookhill, although there were other sites that students could serve.
Freshman Erin Boder says, “I love doing community service and being outside. When I found out there were horses here I thought ‘Sign me up!’. So I wasn’t sure exactly what we were doing but I knew we were going to be at the farm. My shoes are soaked from the pond but it’s all part of the experience.”
The CCE partners with different nonprofits in the area every month in order to help expose students to the different organizations and opportunities they can take advantage of. Their webpage reads, “The Center for Community Engagement helps students to plan, coordinate, and take part in volunteer projects.”
CCE sends out a bimonthly newsletter and provides transportation for students to all off-campus service opportunities.
Key words: community service, Center For Community Engagement, University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Virginia, farming, volunteer