About 500 Hope College students will participate in service projects throughout the area through the college's "Time to Serve" program on Saturday, Sept. 4.
The students, most of them members of the newly arrived freshman Class of 2008, will participate in the college's fifth annual "Time to Serve" volunteer program. They signed up for the mass volunteer effort on Saturday, Aug. 28, only a day after arriving on campus for "New Student Orientation" at Hope.
The program has multiple goals, according to its coordinator, Diana Breclaw, who is assistant dean of students for residential life and student activities. It is designed to help new students learn about service while helping and getting to know their community and becoming better acquainted with each other.
The project began in the fall of 2000 with 10 projects and about 100 participants, and had grown to 24 projects and 300 students a year later. In October of 2001, "Time to Serve" 2000 received a 2001 Distinguished Service Award from Keep Michigan Beautiful Inc. during the group's Annual Conference.
This year, the students will be working in groups of about 10 at more than 40 sites from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Projects will range from sorting and cleaning at Bibles for Mexico, to painting at the Critter Barn, to working with residents at Freedom Village, to groundskeeping at the DeGraaf Nature Center and Herrick District Library, to serving at many area schools, churches and families in need.