News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 23, 2012

Students learn value of volunteerism

Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Students in Harrison College’s Business Office Procedures class learned a lesson in corporate responsibility during their spring term. They also learned that doing something for those in need can be quite rewarding.

As part of their final project, students Amy Rice, April Schofield, Lora Padgett and Linda Kaperak conducted a Thank-you-thon for the American Red Cross and created a multi-step project for the Terre Haute Humane Society.  

“It’s easy to forget how many people are in need here,” Rice said. “For the first part of our project, we wanted to choose an organization that helps anyone who needs it, and after the storms in Henryville, the class was unanimous in choosing the Red Cross.”  

Students contacted Dale Anderson, major gifts officer of the Red Cross Wabash Valley Chapter, who suggested a Thank-you-thon to show gratitude toward the people who donated to storm victims.

Many people in the Wabash Valley generously donated to the storm victims, including individual donors, groups of employees and businesses. The class made 300 phone calls during the Thank-you-thon, and they were surprised by the responses.

“Some people just hung up when we called,” Schofield said. “But the majority of the people that we talked to were very appreciative of the call and surprised by the thank-you.”

For the second part of the project, the class chose to support the Terre Haute Humane Society. The project began with a schoolwide drive, which gathered newspapers, toys, food, bedding and other supplies that were needed at the Humane Society.

The class also hosted a cookout on campus to raise money for the Humane Society. During the cookout, the class raised more than $126.

“Then we got to do the fun stuff,” Padgett said. “We took the donations and money to the Humane Society, and we were volunteers for the day. We watered animals, organized the volunteer room, and rolled papers for cages. It was great because we felt really wanted and needed.”

Karen McGuire, BOP class instructor, believes that project learning is a great way for students to apply what they are learning in their classes to the real world. She thinks that these projects were a great success because of the students.  

“These students are really motivated and care about their community,” McGuire said. “They did a nice job on this project, and I am very proud of them.”