College lends many hands to Community Service Day '08

Kelly Sabol '10 smiled when asked why she spent a clear spring morning priming a rusty chain link fence surrounding a playground near Washington School. "I've lived in Marietta pretty much my whole life and I think it's such a great community," she said. "I want to do what I can to keep it that way."

Sabol and fellow members of the Charles Sumner Harrison Organization spent three hours painting the newly named Washington Community Playground Saturday during the 13th annual Marietta Community Service Day. In all, nearly 300 Marietta College students donated their labor toward 24 area projects.

Volunteers from Circle K, Psychology Club, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Xi Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Omicron Chi Theta, Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Sigma Kappa, Volleyball, Student Alumni Association, Health Professionals Club, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Men's and Women's Soccer, Charles Sumner Harrison Organization and Women's Basketball contributed 873 service hours to the community. Some of the sites included the Marietta Bike Path, the Washington County Humane Society, the Boys and Girls Club, the Ely Chapman Center and the Marietta Community Garden.

"When I learned we were working on a playground, I was excited to help," Sabol said.

Courtney Malone '11 organized about a dozen CSHO volunteers to work at the Washington School site. "It wasn't really hard to get people to come here," she said. "Everyone seemed like they wanted to help."

Marietta Mayor Michael Mullen '82 helped with the playground restoration, which will eventually include a decorative fountain. The city of Marietta owns the playground that is used during Washington Elementary School's daily recesses. "Marietta College always comes through with volunteers when there is a need," Mullen said.

Since Renee Steffen, campus and community collaboration leader with Ohio Campus Compact, came to Marietta in the fall of 2007 to serve as the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), she has recorded slightly more than 5,925 service hours donated to the community by the campus. Those hours are the equivalent of more than $115,000 worth of labor and services contributed by the College to the community. Steffen said many college students volunteer because their high schools promoted servicing their communities. "For me, it was my family that taught me (the value of service). I grew up seeing my mom serve as a Red Cross volunteer and I learned through her work that volunteering is something that helps others and something you can enjoy as well."

Steffen, Dr. Tanya Judd Pucella, director of the Office of Civic Engagement, and student coordinator Gwen Chamberlain '09 organized the College's service efforts for Saturday's event. The next campus-wide volunteer project Steffen will be involved with is Make A Difference Day this fall. For those who are searching for volunteer projects in the area, Steffen has expanded the College's volunteer Web page ( to include local organizations in need of help.

Shataya Spriggs '11 had volunteered in her hometown of Boston, Mass., before coming to Marietta College so she was happy to help. "I think it's cool to do community service," she said. "It teaches you to appreciate things so much more when you have to work for something."

Closing out her academic career at Marietta College, organizational communications major Rosa Hanks '08 spent the morning with psychology major Kadesha Cooper '11 priming fence supports. "This is probably the last time I'll be volunteering with Charles Sumner Harrison," Hanks said, "but it won't be the last time I volunteer."