Shepherd students aid in storm relief
As residents of the Eastern Panhandle continue to dig their way out of some of the worst snow storms in years, students from Shepherd University are leading the way in efforts to help Jefferson County residents.
On Tuesday, eleven students from the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity helped shovel out fire hydrants in Shepherdstown, clear a path for a local homeowner, and assist the Red Cross in moving the Jefferson County shelter from the high school to Covenant Church by shoveling snow to clear walkways. Holly Frye, Director of Student Community Services and Service Learning at Shepherd University, helped coordinate the effort with the students.
“Shepherd University students are known for their volunteer spirit,” Frye said. “Whenever there is a need in the community, our students are ready to help. All it took was one call and I had 11 volunteers ready to go.”
The original goal for the students was to offer help shoveling snow for Shepherdstown residents who were unable to do so themselves. However, after speaking with the town’s Fire Chief, Ross Morgan, it was discovered the uncovering town fire hydrants was also a priority.
The group also received a call from the Jefferson CountyEmergency Operations Center asking for assistance in moving the Red Cross Shelter.
“It’s always special when students, who could stay in their residence halls, choose to help others,” Frye said. “The guys had a great time. Lots of bonding took place while the work was completed. Lots of snow balls were thrown, lots of laughing, and lots of shoveling! I believe whenever our students get out of their “comfort zone” to help others, they see a part of the community that they most likely haven’t seen before.”
Like many of the organizations at Shepherd, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity provides a large amount of service to the community. Josh Nichols, a member of the fraternity, holds a leadership position with Shepherd’s Relay for Life event, which benefits the American Cancer Society. Nichols is also planning to participate in an Alternative Spring Break trip where students will help construct a home for Habitat for Humanity in North Carolina.
The Office of Student Community Services and Service Learning at Shepherd coordinates bothcommunity service initiatives, such as the one in which the Lambda Chi Alpha students participated, and service learning initiatives with faculty to achieve or enhance the learning outcomes of a particular course.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, service learning offers a unique opportunity for young people to get involved with their communities in a tangible way by integrating service projects with classroom learning.Students not only learn about democracy and citizenship, they become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.
To learn more about service learning programs at Shepherd University, contact Holly Frye by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about service learning in West Virginia, contact the Corporation for National and Community Service at (304) 347-5246. To learn more about volunteer opportunities in West Virginia, visit www.volunteerwv.org or call Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service, at (304) 558-0111.