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Freshmen give back through volunteer opportunities

Freshman Jenna Mercer poses with the kids at Haven of Grace

Suzanne Mercer

Freshman Jenna Mercer poses with the kids at Haven of Grace

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Three freshmen prove giving back to the community has no age limit.

For two of three hours a week, freshman Matthew Loaney volunteers at Promise Christian Academy, a special needs school in St. Louis. While there with his brother, they read to the kids, and played on the playground with them.

“Every Friday, me and my brother go there and play with them and get to be in class with them,” Loaney said. “It is a great break in the day where I just go and have fun with them, because no one’s there to judge you or anything.”

Another student volunteer hub is PetSmart, a company that uses student volunteers to play and walk dogs as well as to help set up Adoption Days.

“I found out about the volunteer option through a flier, and I thought ‘Hey, I have a few cats and a dog at home, this sounds like a really fun opportunity’,” freshman Melanie Pauli said. “It was easy to sign up, they just had me fill out a form and I was able to interact with the dogs and the people. It was a great experience.”

It is a great break in the day where I just go and have fun with them, because no one’s there to judge you or anything.”

— Matthew Loaney

Through her church, freshman Jenna Mercer volunteered at Haven of Grace. She served meals and sort donations for single mothers and their children.

“Not only did we help them see what food was expired and see what they needed to go out and buy, we helped by babysitting the kids while the mothers worked on the computers for their high schools and colleges.”

Mercer enjoyed Haven of Grace because she got to see who she was impacting directly and how she was doing it.

“At one point when we were cleaning, all the kids were watching us and once we were done they were running around with each other and they were so happy and grateful because it wasn’t usually that nice and clean for them,” Mercer said.

Mercer highly recommends volunteering there, because of the great experience she had with the mothers, the children and the workers there.

“People should volunteer there because even though they have all the people who work there, they still need volunteers since there’s still a lot of work to be done. It’s not the cleanest place ever, but it does so much for these mothers,” Mercer said.

 

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Freshmen give back through volunteer opportunities