Story by Lauren Brooks
With nightly temperatures reaching below freezing during the winter, Kettering College students and staff worked together to make fleece blankets and stocking caps for the homeless living in Dayton, Ohio.
Over the last several years, the nursing department at Kettering College has partnered with Ohio Conference's Kettering church to make blankets and hats for the Good Neighbor House, a local non-profit organization that assists under-served individuals and families in Dayton.
“This was an initiative from the nursing department we wanted to support,” says Steve Carlson, chaplain at Kettering College. Carlson oversees the Student Life program, which provides opportunities for students to participate in local, regional, and international service projects.
The academic service projects that Student Life supports, helps students get out of their own headspace and focus on others. These service projects also create unique ways for faculty and staff to connect with students. “Sitting at a table making blankets was a fun and unique way to connect with students in a manner I wouldn’t have, normally,” Carlson explains. “We had different conversations than the ones I usually have by passing them in the hallway.”
One of those students was Kuda Gwasira, a pre-nursing student at Kettering College, who took part in this service project. He was also part of the group where they made a record of 15 blankets in one night. “I’m studying to become a nurse and one of the aspects is to be there for your patients,” Gwasira said. “I’m learning to apply that aspect of being there for others to my life through service projects.”
Student Life and the academic programs at Kettering College are working to create more service opportunities than ever this year, for students to participate in.