Service

The Bethel Blood Drive

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Nolan Corne donating blood

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Madelyn Weaver and myself

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Just some of the Red Cross blood drive crew!

1258 November has been a very busy month for me! As a co-leader of Bethel SCAN (Student Community Action Network) I was in charge of the blood drive this semester. While you might think this would not be very hard, there were actually many different tasks I had to finish before the blood drive could be a success.

First, I had to make sure we had pizza for people to eat after giving blood. Pizza Hut and Papa John’s were both extremely helpful and had no problem donating pizzas for the cause. We received four pizzas, plates, and napkins from both places. Any snack items besides the pizza were supplied by the Red Cross. I was also involved in multiple meetings and phone calls with our blood drive coordinator, Geneva Land.

Madelyn Weaver and I hung posters all over Bethel’s campus. Alyssa Scheuerman, Madelyn Weaver, Kathryn Kelman, and I handed out fliers after convo one day. But, by far the biggest duty I had was to get enough blood donors to sign up. So, Shianne DeFreese and I sat outside of the cafeteria almost everyday for two weeks. As I’m sure you all noticed! A few community members also called or emailed me and joined our cause to donate blood. 

The day of the blood drive, some members of the Bethel football team, along with some other guys, came and helped unload the blood drive truck in the morning. There is a lot of equipment needed for a blood drive! Then, throughout the day I had volunteers coming in every hour. These volunteers included: Olivia Gehring, Javen Zellner, Alyssa Scheuerman, Katrina Regehr, Rachel Evans, Mallory Black, Jessica Ebenkamp, Aaron Topham, Lina Adame, Emily Wedel, Tana Myers, Koki Lane (who was also in charge of picture taking), Rachel Unruh, Raul Silva, Katelyn Melgren, Jared Regehr, Sarah Cunningham, and Madelyn Weaver. Michelle Unruh also picked up some supplies for the blood drive. After the blood drive was over, the Bethel tennis team came to help load all of the equipment back into the truck. Of course, I cannot forget all of the blood donors. Over all we had 68 people come to donate and of them, 57 were able to donate. This means we saved 171 lives in only four hours! Good job Bethel!

Lastly I would like to thank Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, Madelyn Weaver, and Shianne DeFreese for helping me plan the blood drive. 

Fall at Bethel

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Leah and Danny

Life has become crazy on Bethel Campus! Where to start… First, I went to Camp Mennoscah for service day. This was a great trip! I went with a very diverse group: Leah Towle, who had never been to Camp Mennoscah before, Jared Regehr and Megan Siebert, my fellow staffers from this summer, and a few other great individuals with varying degrees of familiarity with Camp Mennoscah. We left Bethel at 8am and (mostly) stayed awake for the ride out. When we got to Camp Mennoscah we started working in the Bluestem house.

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The whole crew!

We scraped floors, swept floors, mopped floors, dusted furniture, cleaned bathrooms, took out recycling, and much much more. The day also included an awesome lunch and some time to check out the Ninnescah River.

 Another series of events happening in my life are the many activities of the Bethel College Concert Choir. We sang at Faith Mennonite, BCMC, and Tabor Mennonite Church within the past few months. Just yesterday we sang at the President’s Club dinner. This semester has been my first experience of being in the Bethel College Concert Choir. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity to sing with all of the amazing people in the choir!

choir dress

This past week we also celebrated Halloween. The weekend before was the Halloween dance, which was quite fun! But, this past Thursday it was our turn to make Halloween fun for someone else! Bethel hosted trick-or-treat-off-the-streets. We had many young children come to our door for some goodies. We saw a wide range of costumes, from an out-house, to a sock monkey, to twin Cleopatra’s. Here is one of the Cleopatra’s with his three daughters and me. As you can see, I did not dress up as anything special. However, Katelyn Melgren did my hair in a “Princess Leia” fashion so I could almost claim I was from Star Wars. 

The last project that has been keeping me busy is organizing the Bethel Blood Drive. As a co-leader of SCAN, my specific project is to run the blood drive that Bethel hosts once a semester. So, for the past two weeks, I have been sitting outside of the caf, asking people to donate blood. So far, Bethel has shown up! The blood drive is this Tuesday, November, 5th, so it is quickly approaching. 

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Service Day, Serving for life

This past Wednesday was “Service day” for Bethel’s campus. There were lots of opportunities and ways to get involved including cleaning up Sand Creek Trail, landscaping, painting and deep cleaning the Agape House. Some people also went to Et Cetera shop to help price and put out clothing, others went to an Elementary school and cleaned and helped teachers with odd jobs and some even got to interact with the children as well. The tennis team also had a “service” going on where those that were available could help clean out the tennis shed and tie down the tennis windscreens.

Unfortunately I was not able to participate in service day this year but Maria Day my Spanish professor reminded our Spanish class of something very important. One of her philosophical thoughts. That was that not only should we do service one day for service day, but that we should serve every day whether it be in a big or small way. She said that even something as simple as a smile or a hello can brighten someone’s day and can be a form of service.

I think that is a good reminder for me and for us all of the kind of mind set that we should have about service and about one of the goals for our lives, not only giving back to our community on “Service day” or through volunteer work if you participate in that as well, but giving back to the people who are in your life, to those who are in your life permanently or those who just pass through, to those who are important to you and those who you might not know as well, even a simple smile or caring about how they are doing can be just what someone needs to get through the day.

Bigs in Schools

It is difficult to believe that we are over halfway through October already! The school year has continued to fly by. Fall Fest was only a week ago and I finished up all my midterm exams this week. Even amidst the neverending homework assignments and due dates one of the highlights of my week is still the same as every year — going to see my little sister for Bigs in Schools. Read More

Service Day

Bethel’s motto of “Seek, serve, grow” is lived out by its students every day, but every spring we set out one day to focus on the middle of that motto. On Service Day, daytime classes are cancelled so that students, faculty and staff can participate in a variety of service projects.

The projects range from on-campus service to working at Newton area agencies and traditionally a group also goes out to Camp Mennoscah, a Mennonite church camp about an hour away.

The projects are organized so that students can spend anywhere from one hour to the whole day on a project. The Camp Mennoscah group lasts until late afternoon, while many on campus projects are finished by lunch.  This year projects included painting an equipment shed, cleaning windows, painting other things on campus, working at the homeless shelter and women’s shelter, and many others.

While service is not required of students, the community atmosphere highly encourages it. It’s hard to not join in when all of your friends are out giving back to the community!

Standing on Holy Ground

Lately, my life has been filled with Holy moments.  These sacred moments shape my life as a person of faith, and remind me of my desired to seek, serve, and grow in my faith.  A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to serve communion at my home church in Wichita.  This particular Sunday, communion was taken by intinction (partly dipping the bread into the “wine”), so I had the job of holding the cup.  On my side of the sanctuary, the pastor held the bread, and people took from that before coming to me.  The whole thing was such a humbling experience!  Here I was, standing beside the pastor serving this community of faith that has watched me grow from a newborn into this young woman of faith who is considering a call to pastoral ministry.  It was such a humbling experience to serve communion to the adults I think of as my “other mothers and fathers.”  These are the adults who I have I looked up to and greatly respected for my entire life.  Now I was serving them, on Holy ground.

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We Love Camp Mennoscah!

One of the great things at Bethel College is the commitment to service and the love for a little place called Camp Mennoscah.  I’m sure you won’t be on campus long without seeing someone with a Mennoscah t-shirt, or hear a story that begins “last summer when I was counseling…”  It’s true, there are other camps where Bethel students volunteer or work and love, but as my brother once said, “Bethel goes to Camp Mennoscah.”  Last summer all 8 summer staffers were Bethel students and a large number of the counselors were.

Camp Mennoscah is a small camp owned by the area conference of Mennonite Church USA (with which Bethel is also affiliated).  It’s located in the middle of nowhere about an hour and a half away from Bethel.  In the summer, the cabins (without electricity) are beastly hot, but those who fall in love with Mennoscah love that place with a fierce devotion, proclaiming there’s no other camp worth talking about.

This month the 2012 catalogs rolled off the press and were ready for tabbing and addressing.  With a bare bones staff at Camp during the “off-season” (read, not summer), they turned to Bethel students to help get the job done.  A group of about 8 Bethel students came and went from the mod 4C to get help get the catalogs ready for the mail.  Check out a couple of the pictures of Bethel students hard at work.  It was a lot of fun to sit around, looking at the pictures from last year, talking about favorite memories and looking forward to next year.  You could feel the excitement in the room.

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Service Day

Last week classes were cancelled on Wednesday for the annual Service Day. Students could sign up for a variety of projects on campus as well as a trip to Camp Mennoscah that I was lucky enough to be on.

The biggest project was the cleanup of the Kidron Canal, which runs through campus in between the athletic and academic buildings. President White was really excited about this project because it would help tear down the physical barrier between the athletic and academic sides of campus. The football team and many other students worked on it, and it’s an impressive change.

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Appreciating our roots

Who doesn’t love saving lives? Especially when there’s pizza involved. Well, at Bethel one of the ways that we show our appreciation for our fellow man is by showing up to donate blood. It must be hardwired into our Mennonite DNA (don’t worry, if you’re non-Mennonite you too can develop a deep appreciation for volunteering) to do what we can to make the world a better place, and one of those ways is by having a blood drive. Who doesn’t love having Vietnamese food? Not the International club. They took a trip down to Wichita to eat at a delicious Viet restaurant and experience multiculturalism through their stomachs. It was rightly glorious. Read More

Learning Through Service

As part of the Service Learning Scholarship from Bethel, I volunteer as a nurse’s aide in the surgical department of the Newton Medical Center. I put in 60 hours a semester, which works out to about five hours per week. This year, I’m volunteering from 6-10:30 am every Thursday. It means that I have to wake up at about 5:00 am, which is less than ideal, but it’s really the only time that I can fit in such a large chunk of time. It helps that I absolutely love every minute of volunteering at the hospital. It’s a great way to gain experience in the medical field. Occasionally the head nurse is able to get me into the surgical suites to view procedures. I’ve seen a knee replacement, parathyroidectomy (removal of a parathyroid gland), hernia repair and several heart catheterizations. The doctors have always been very good at pointing out different anatomical landmarks and making sure that I can see exactly what they’re doing, to the point of pulling up a stool for me (I’m pretty short) and letting me peer over their shoulder. It’s an unparalleled rush, seeing the inner workings of the body displayed less than two feet away. Read More