Jeff Webb, Ph.D., chainsaws a tree stump in Yeoman Park during the freshman plunge. (Photo by Jared Huhta)
Jeff Webb, Ph.D., chainsaws a tree stump in Yeoman Park during the freshman plunge. (Photo by Jared Huhta)

Last year, the Friesen Center for Volunteer Service logged a total of  12,819 volunteer hours by students, faculty, and staff. This year, the Friesen Center staff has set a new goal of 25,000 hours.

This goal may seem lofty, but the Friesen Center staff truly believes it is reachable, they said. Last year, many students were unaware of the process for logging hours or simply did not know the things they were involved in counted as volunteering, junior Luke McConnell, co-director, said.

“If we are able to bring more awareness to volunteering and logging hours we should be able to achieve this goal,” he said.

Some key programs run by the Friesen center have historically made up the bulk amount of hours recorded. The different mission trips, spring and fall work day, and other one-time service events, bring in many of the volunteer hours. Regularly volunteering for a community service event, such as Campus Life, Bingo Buddies, or Neighbors also count for volunteer hours.

However, the Friesen Center does not have specific programs required for service.

“The goal is to get Huntington University students, staff, and faculty to be regularly volunteering in both the local community and the world at large in the name of Christ,” McConnell said.

The Friesen Center does have some suggestions for helping students successfully get involved and record their hours to help reach the goal. First, students should find a way or a place they enjoy serving in. If students need direction, the Friesen center can help find opportunities to fit specific interests. Second, students should simply log any volunteer hours they complete. This can be done either in the Friesen Center binders provided at some sites, or on the yellow sheets outside the Friesen center. Students should turn in the yellow log sheets either when full or monthly.

The Friesen center created this goal with a purpose that coincides with their mission for the year.

“Our mission as a staff this year is to instill and inspire a heart of lifelong selflessness that challenges students to serve locally and worldwide,” McConnell said.

The total hours logged will be revealed at the end of second semester, but in the meantime a large poster outside their office charts the current progress.