More than 400 Hope College students will participate in service projects throughout the area through the college's "Time to Serve" program on Saturday, Sept. 1.
Most of the students will be members of the newly arrived freshman Class of 2011, who started signing up for the mass volunteer effort on Saturday, Aug. 25, only a day after arriving on campus for "New Student Orientation" at Hope.
The students will be working in groups of five to 20 at more than 40 sites from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Projects are scheduled throughout Holland as well as in Hopkins and Zeeland, and will range from sorting and cleaning at Goodwill Industries, to cleaning and other projects at the Critter Barn, to interacting with residents at the Inn at Freedom Village, to assisting at the Tulipanes Festival in Centennial Park, to groundskeeping and cleaning at many area churches.
The "Time to Serve" program is designed to help new students learn about service while helping and getting to know their community and becoming better acquainted with one another. 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 2001, "Time to Serve" 2000 received a 2001 Distinguished Service Award from Keep Michigan Beautiful Inc. during the group's annual conference.
Hope students volunteer in a variety of ways throughout the school year. In addition to "Time to Serve," two prominent efforts on campus are the "Dance Marathon" charitable fund-raiser held on behalf of Helen DeVos Children's Hospital of Grand Rapids and the spring break mission and service trip program, both of which involve hundreds of students annually.