8/22/2008 - Students take to the streets for "Marion Matters"
By Michael J. Brooks
Judson College students participated in their fourth annual "Marion Matters" on Aug. 22, a community-wide service blitz that culminated "Welcome Week" for the college's 171st academic session.
ďThe main purposes of Marion Matters are to encourage the new students to get involved in the community and to set the tone for service-learning," said Susan Jones, Judson's director of faith-based service and learning. "The freshmen get a new interaction that they donít get inside a classroom. And it helps out the community.
ďI feel like it went well. It was a meaningful experience for our students, which is exciting to me," Jones said. "Itís a great start-of-the-year for the office of faith-based service and learning. It was also really great to see how excited the students were."
Sixteen teams of students traveled throughout the area for three hours of volunteer work.
One group took horses from the campus to the Perry County Nursing Home to visit with residents.
"They enjoyed petting the horses," said Jillian Copland of Prattville. "We learned that more people need to visit these residents and spend time with them. It's a good lesson for us students."
Bridgette King of Montgomery reported on her group's visit to Perry Lakes Park.
"We cleaned the beach and built a bench," she said. "And the birds welcomed us with open wings!"
Other groups completed projects at Marion Academy, the Marion and Perry County Library, the Lincoln Museum, the Perry County Health Department and Albert Turner Elementary School.
Judson president Dr. David Potts thanked the students for their work at the wrap-up session at the Marion Depot.
"You've touched the lives of a lot of people," he said.
Potts talked about his 26 years in Perry County, telling the students it is a wonderful place filled with fine people.
"But it's also true that this is a community of need," he said. "This is a challenging place. There are high percentages of people living in what the government calls 'extreme poverty,' which means the family income is less that $12,000 a year.
"I commend you young people for giving your time today," Potts said. "This is what Jesus meant in Matthew 25 when he talked about ministering to others in his name."
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.