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JANUARY 31, 2005

CSI: Collegetown Service Initiative Set for Feb. 26
Students from Spartanburg’s colleges to provide assistance to local service organizations

Hundreds of students at Spartanburg’s six colleges and universities again will come together to make Spartanburg a better place on Saturday, Feb. 26, as they participate in “CSI: Collegetown Service Initiative,” providing services to more than a dozen service agencies around the community.

CSI is a project of the College Town consortium, a collaboration of the institutions of higher education in Spartanburg County – Converse College, Sherman College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Spartanburg Technical College, the University of South Carolina Upstate and Wofford College. It is the second service initiative undertaken by students through College Town; the first in 2004 involved cleaning up Lawson’s Fork Creek.

This year, students will participate in groups of varying sizes to provide much-needed services to a variety of Spartanburg service agencies. The agencies involved include the American Red Cross, the Spartanburg Children’s Shelter, TOTAL Ministries, Goodwill Industries, SAFE Homes Thrift Store, Second Presbyterian Soup Kitchen, The Haven, Mobile Meals, Habitat for Humanity, Skylyn Place Retirement Community, Miracle Life Mission, Jesse Bobo Elementary School, Mountainview Nursing Home, the Salvation Army and the Spartanburg Humane Society.

“We’ll have students doing everything from assisting with disaster service for the Red Cross to doing arts and crafts with children at the Children’s Shelter to cooking, cleaning and serving at the Soup Kitchen,” says Carly Schiano, director of student life at USC Upstate, who chairs the CSI planning committee. “The students are very excited about getting together with students from the other colleges, and going out to do something very meaningful. We’re encouraging any student who hasn’t signed up or who wants more information to contact their student affairs offices.”

The day for CSI will begin with a light breakfast and project signup at the First Baptist Church Hangar at 9 a.m. Participating students will receive T-shirts when they sign up for their projects. Spartanburg Mayor Bill Barnet, along with presidents from the colleges, will welcome and address the students, who then will depart at about 10:30 a.m. to their project sites. The students will return to the Hangar for a 1:30 p.m. lunch and reflection on their work and impact.

The agencies and the projects include:

  • American Red Cross – painting at offices, assisting with disaster service.

  • Spartanburg Children’s Shelter – organizing clothing closet, organizing food pantry and kitchen, arts and crafts with children.

  • TOTAL Ministries – sorting and bagging groceries, sorting clothing.

  • Goodwill Industries – greeting donors/customers, assisting customers, bagging purchased goods, organizing sales floor, sorting donations, dressing as mascot and entertaining customers.

  • SAFE Homes Thrift Store – sorting donations, assisting with window display, transitioning winter and spring clothing.

  • Second Presbyterian Church Soup Kitchen – assisting with food preparation, washing tables and chairs, sorting canned goods and paper products, assisting guests with food.

  • The Haven – cleaning out attic and cellar, helping to prepare for rummage sale.

  • Mobile Meals – inside maintenance, stocking shelves, painting inside and outside, grounds work, trash pickup.

  • Habitat for Humanity – construction on houses.

  • Skylyn Place Retirement Community – painting, cleaning windows.

  • Miracle Life Mission – helping with renovations, cleaning rooms.

  • Jesse Bobo Elementary School – cleaning courtyard areas and planting flowers, hanging bulletin boards, other miscellaneous projects.

  • Mountainview Nursing Home – painting beauty shop area, assisting with building a fountain in the courtyard.

  • The Salvation Army – sorting clothing and other items in thrift store.

  • Spartanburg Humane Society – unfolding newspapers, socializing with the animals.

Other agencies and projects are expected to be added.

“We’re looking at 200 to 250 students participating, maybe more,” says Schiano. “We hope students will take this opportunity not only to help the community, but to get to know their counterparts at other local colleges. It’s a great way to build relationships and networks.”

For specific campus signup information, e-mail Associate Dean of Student Affairs Deb Thomason.

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