News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

April 29, 2014

Service is their Mission

Ivy Tech students give back to community during statewide event

TERRE HAUTE — Every day, the Light House Mission gives dozens of people in Terre Haute the physical strength to get through another few hours of the day.

The mission does that by providing free meals to homeless and needy people from the area in its dining room at 1450 Wabash Ave.

On Tuesday evening, a half-dozen students from Ivy Tech Community College served the evening meal at the mission, part of the college’s “Days of Service” program.

“You have to do good to receive good things,” said Megan Meltem Reid, 21, a first-year student at Ivy Tech and vice president of the student government association. Reid, who has lived most of her life in Turkey, said she, her mother and younger sister went through difficult times, so she understands what it means to need help.

“Now I just want to be more helpful,” she said.

Reid was serving salad dressing to the dozens of residents and others receiving their evening meal Tuesday at the mission. Other Ivy Tech students were serving vegetables, bread, soup and a main course that looked like Italian beef.

“I want to serve Jesus,” said Dustin Pruiett, a sophomore associate of arts major at Ivy Tech who was also serving food. “I really like doing it. I get to serve someone who needs to eat.”

This was the second half of the Days of Service program for Ivy Tech students at the Wabash Valley campus. Earlier this month, more than a dozen students removed weeds and dead plants in downtown flower boxes and replaced them with new, healthy flowers, said Charles Rubey, director of student life, development and leadership at Ivy Tech.

Days of Service allows Ivy Tech students in the Wabash Valley and across Indiana to “give back to their communities,” Rubey said. It is purely voluntary, he said, adding the students do not receive college credit for the work.

This is the third year for Ivy Tech’s statewide Days of Service initiative. In all, more than 1,000 students, faculty and staff take part across the state each year, according to the college’s website.

The Light House Mission has been providing shelter, food and clothing to needy people in Terre Haute since 1890. In addition to the main mission building on Wabash, the Light House Mission also provides housing for women and children at Conners Center and Gary’s Place on South 13th Street.

In the dead of winter, the shelter population may reach around 200 individuals, according to mission employees.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com

TO HELP THE MISSION

• To volunteer for or to donate to the Light House Mission, visit the organization’s website at www.thlhm.org or call 812-232-7001.

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