8/21/2009 - "Marion Matters" still a success after five years
By Michael J. Brooks
Judson College students participated in their fifth annual "Marion Matters" on Aug. 21, a community-wide service blitz that culminated the college's Welcome Week for its 172nd academic session.
"The 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.
Jones said the incoming freshmen get a new perspective that they don't get inside a classroom and the community is helped.
"It was a meaningful experience for our students, which is exciting to me," Jones said. "It's 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."
Fifteen 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.
Other groups completed projects at Marion Academy, Marion Cemetery, the Marion and Perry County Library, the Lincoln Museum, Southland Nursing Home, the Perry County Health Department and Albert Turner Elementary School, Francis Marion High School and Perry Lakes Park.
Judson president Dr. David Potts thanked the students for their work at the wrap-up session at the Old Marion Depot.
"You've touched the lives of a lot of people," he said.
Potts talked about his 27 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 Office