1/19/2010 - 'Restoration' Project completed in Marion
By Elizabeth Tucker
Judson College is usually abandoned by students the first week of Christmas break, but 27 students remained on campus for a work project called "Restoration."
"Restoration" was the brainchild of students Laura Hyer of Valparaiso, Ind, Kelly Patton of Thomasville and Michelle Vandergriff of Decatur. The project is similar to "Marion Matters" in which all freshmen participated in an afternoon of community service at the beginning of each academic year. The three students wished to continue this work during the Christmas season.
The three approached Judson's director of Faith-Based Service and Learning, Susan Jones, for advice and resources.
Jones put the group in contact with Francis Ford at "Sowing Seeds of Hope" interfaith initiative to find appropriate projects. The students were assigned to work with the Self-Help Housing Project that is currently building four houses in Marion.
Jones and the students worked together to organize the project and procure donations for materials. They also encouraged other Judson students to become involved. Eventually, 27 students worked on three houses and at Albert Turner Elementary School in Marion. The students painted and installed drywall and insulation in the three houses and they read to and helped the kindergarten and first graders at Turner prepare for their Christmas program
Jones and Hyer are making plans to continue "Restoration" one weekend during the current spring semester and intend to make it an annual event each Christmas break.
"It's really just about service--service to God and to others," Hyer said.
Jones said she was proud of all the students who gave their time for the effort.
"I was impressed with their willingness to do whatever needed to be done," Jones said. "They crawled under houses, unloaded trucks and carried heavy drywall. That week was cold and wet but our students were excited to be helping others."
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.
* Read about "Restoration Week" from the perspective of a student who experienced it!