Freshmen Complete Service

by Ellie Haugen

The new freshman class participated in Simpson’s First Year Service Day on Aug. 30 as part of their fall orientation.

Whether it was tending to the homeless or elderly, highway clean up or simply repainting the walls of a town building, many students and faculty felt that this year’s service day was very rewarding.

One location that a Liberal Arts Seminar class visited was called Helping Hands.

“The place was a lot like Goodwill,” freshman Mason Gustafson said.  “We sorted through clothes and hung them up, and there were toys for the kids.  It was really nice to talk with people and give back to the community.”

Other classes participated in service that was more closely connected to their LAS semester-long projects or areas of study.

Visiting Instructor of Communications Lisa Carponelli-Lovell’s LAS class traveled to The Village, a nursing home in Indianola, to interact with the residents there.  The class will spend the rest of the semester planning, advertising and promoting a spaghetti dinner for the residents, and also returning to The Village to spend more one-on-one time with the residents.

The students also had the opportunity to talk with the residents and ask them about how they felt about their home.

“The residents absolutely love where they live,” class destination leader Becky Pietig said.  “They have so many opportunities and activities to do.  They are even going fishing in the near future.”

Another LAS class led by CoryAnne Harrigan, associate professor of English, went to the Catholic Worker house in Des Moines to help with yard clean up.  The Catholic Worker house is a home run program created as a place for the poor and homeless to find food and a temporary place to rest.

“The coordinators of the program want to make it clear to people that homeless and poor people are not just crazy people and bag ladies,” Professor Harrigan said.  “Often times, people will drop their children off with friends, while they go to the Dingman House to get food and supplies because they don’t want their children to be exposed to that sad reality.”

Through these experiences Simpson College hopes to give incoming freshmen a new view on what they as students can to do give back to the community they will be living in for the next four years.