Service Plunge at Emory & Henry Gives Back to the Community

by Haley Arni

Nearly 430 new Emory & Henry College students spread across Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee to 21 different service locations to join in on the 26th annual Service Plunge on Tuesday, August 8. Service Plunge is a time-honored tradition at the College that is organized by the Appalachian Center for Civic Life, in which teams of students and faculty coordinators serve various locations, most of which represent a theme of their first-year courses.

Each service location provided students with a unique and valuable experience to learn more about the needs of the community and the importance of service. Many students took turns harvesting tomatoes and peppers at Central Christian Church in Bristol, Tennessee, with River’s Way to donate to local food banks. Others pulled weeds at the YWCA playground, stained fences at Hungry Mother State Park and engaged in community-building activities at the Damascus Trail Center.

“Service Plunge is a reflection of Emory & Henry’s mission and values of service to others in our region and the larger world,” said Leah Wilson, coordinator of civic life. “It is an important opportunity for new students to make connections with community organizations to better understand themselves as part of the larger community while also bonding with classmates, faculty and staff. I am so happy we were able to continue with the tradition of Service Plunge.”

As part of the educational community of Emory & Henry College, the Appalachian Center for Civic Life strives to create a nationally distinctive program of service and education, equipping students to be agents of social change in our region, our nation and the world. Focusing on the interconnection of place, citizenship, public policy, social capital and mediating structures, the Appalachian Center will expand its place-based model, creating new opportunities for service and learning that is responsive to the long, environmental and human history of a place, acknowledging the persistence of a range of social and cultural conflicts.

“Students, faculty and staff worked so hard to make a difference, connect with others and spread love outside of the campus walls. It is our hope that Service Plunge will be a spark that ignites students’ continued engagement in ongoing meaningful opportunities to make Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee thrive,” said Wilson.

“Students, faculty and staff worked so hard to make a difference, connect with others and spread love outside of the campus walls. It is our hope that Service Plunge will be a spark that ignites students’ continued engagement in ongoing meaningful opportunities to make Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee thrive.”
-Leah Wilson
Coordinator for Civic Life

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