July 19th, 2012
Each fall break, Service Trips sends out ministry teams to various places nationwide. Through participation on a Service Trips Team, students can obtain a deeper understanding of what servanthood is and how to apply it to their daily lives.
Here’s where Messiah students were this October:
2011 Fall Break Service Trips
Students helped the River Valley Ranch ministry better serve their campers and provide a place for people to be reached for God.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Students learned about and work with clay plaster and lime plaster, and discussed the ways that natural building reduces greenhouse gases.
Youth Development, Inc.
Highland County, Virginia
This service trip consisted of mainly splitting wood and other maintenance jobs at the camp to better serve their campers. The ministry of Youth Development, Inc. has a simple, but far-reaching vision: “Loving Jesus and sharing His love worldwide everyday”. Their mission is to provide living waters to a thirsty generation through evangelism. Read the rest of this entry »
July 19th, 2012
Service-Learning is a type of curriculum that intentionally integrates academic learning with community service in a credit-bearing academic course.
Students participate in an authentic service activity that meets needs identified by the community (designed within the framework of a mutually beneficial relationship), and then they critically reflect on that activity. Thus, students gain a deep understanding of course content, a commitment to socially responsible citizenship, developing skills and understanding needed to contribute to civic well-being.
June 21st, 2012
When it comes to volunteering, Messiah’s Agape Center for Service and Learning has developed a tool to help students find the right niche for them. Check out the Service Finder to find your best fit for service-learning as a Messiah student.
June 12th, 2012
Student honored as 2012 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact
Katie Todd `13 is one of 162 students selected as a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow, an award recognizing inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.
Todd is passionate about environmental justice. She volunteers weekly at an urban farm in Harrisburg. She also works with the Agape Center for Service and Learning as the Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator, connecting volunteers with opportunities to serve in local organizations related to food distribution, gardening, and advocacy.
As a Newman Civic Fellow, Todd will join a network of Fellows around the country. Together — sharing ideas and tools through online networking — the Fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change, and will continue to set examples for their classmates and others.
June 1st, 2012
Invest in people by investing in the environment!
Sustainable Agriculture Outreach Teams work with community and on-campus organizations to establish sustainable sources of food while learning about how to best care for and work with God’s creation.
Our Community Partners:
- The Harrisburg Catholic Worker House began in November of 1996, when two men of faith and compassion recognized the need for housing and hospitality for homeless men coming out of prison with drug and alcohol addictions. The Worker House helps these children of God recover from the devastation of drug and alcohol abuse or readjust after being released from prison, in order to regain self-respect. They are offered housing and food, daily prayer services, and a monthly Mass. Guests are encouraged to attend recovery programs, help with local civic beautification, and extend charity to each other and their neighbors. Student volunteers may serve in a number of ways, including meeting and sharing time with house members, stocking and cleaning the food pantry, or working on the urban garden initiative, which involves transforming vacant lots into flourishing gardens that produce flowers and vegetables for the entire neighborhood.
- The Grantham Community Garden is a student-inspired, student-led effort to demonstrate and promote real-life concepts of sustainable agriculture; a necessary dimension of holistic Christian stewardship. We plan to use this garden initiative as a means to educate students, faculty, and the broader community about the benefits of eating organic food and tapping into local farm economies for food resources. Through participation in local and on-campus farmers markets, we hope to foster greater interaction between campus residents, regional farmers, and the surrounding public. Besides utilizing Messiah College’s land resources to produce fresh and healthy cafeteria food, a campus garden would allow the college to keep pace with environmentally minded schools such as Dickinson College, Wilson College, and Eastern University. Volunteer opportunities allow students to contribute to fall harvest and clearn-up and to become involved in special projects.
- The Joshua Farm: The Joshua Farm is an urban farm located on 18th Street in Harrisburg. It is affiliated with Joshua Group, a non-profit Christian organization that intends to aid at-risk youth and employs underprivileged youth from the surrounding area. The farm grew from a vacant lot to a profuse farm and now sells affordable, locally grown vegetables to families in Allison Hill while providing service, vocational and educational opportunities to at-risk youth in the city. Volunteers will help harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the farm’s biweekly farm market. They will also help run the farm market and prepare the farm for winter.
- Project SHARE Food Bank: Project SHARE is an interfaith, non-profit cooperative effort created to meet the needs of the hungry by providing supplementary food on a monthly basis. SHARE distributes food boxes in the third week of each month containing 45 nutritious food items, approximately one week’s groceries for a family of four. On SHARE’s monthly food distribution days, volunteers will serve people who rely on this ministry for food, clothing, and other essentials. Their tasks could include handing out food, restocking shelves, creating nutritional menus or teaching people how to prepare a new recipe using the food they receive.
May 24th, 2012
Many things can lead to men, women and children of all backgrounds to be without food to eat or a place to stay for a short or extended time. Messiah College’s Hunger and Homelessness Outreach Teams partner with local organizations who make it their daily mission to reach out to these individuals and families.
Our Community Partners include:
- The Bethesda Team ( includes the Men’s Soup Kitchen and the Women & Children Shelter)
- Silence of Mary House (A house of hospitality providing a family structure for the poor)
- Tabitha’s (a group of students who knitting for a cause– donations of hats, mittens, scarves and other creations made by this group are distributed to Harrisburg’s urban poor)
May 24th, 2012
Jess West, a 2008 Messiah graduate, holds firm to the idea that being connected and actively participating within the local community is “crucial for understanding and genuinely applying one’s self toward an individual vocation or calling.”
With a degree in early childhood education with a concentration in special education, West has brought and continues to bring a servant passion for teaching local youth in the Harrisburg Pennsylvania School District. The desire to serve through teaching developed during her time as a student at Messiah College. Read the rest of this entry »
May 1st, 2012
The Agape Center partners with three after-school tutoring programs, all located in inner-city Harrisburg.
Each program is dedicated to providing a safe-haven for at-risk, inner-city children and provides the opportunity for children to receive one-on-one tutoring. By volunteering just one day a week, Messiah students offer an important contribution to each of these programs.
Our Community Partners:
- Allison Hill Tutoring: With about 30 children in the program, Messiah sends 4-7 volunteers Monday through Thursday (4:15 – 6:30 p.m.). Along with tutoring, this programs offers the children both crafts and cooking classes, providing a variety of activities each day.
- Bethesda Youth Center: The Youth Center offers a safe, nuturing environment where kids can be kids and learn how to discover their purpose and fulfill their potential.
- After School Program: The after school program serves inner city youth, ages 7-18 years old. A typical week consists of homework help, spiritual development classes, creative learning classes, arts & crafts, worship time, recreation, snacks, lots of fun, and whatever else the needs of the children dictate. This is an after-school program between the hours of 3:00-6:15 pm. Volunteers are asked to commit one day per week (Monday-Thursday) to participate in a variety of activities, such as games, snacks, and homework tutoring.
- UCAN Program: This program matches student volunteers with a high school student who attends the Bethesda Youth Center, with the goal of encouraging the student to pursue college as a possible option, and push them toward goals. Volunteers are asked to meet one-on-one with their mentee, taking them out for activities or hanging around the after-school center.
- Center for Champions: With about 60 children in the program, Messiah sends 5-7 volunteers Monday through Thursday (3:30-6:30 p.m.). This program places the children into classes, giving volunteers to opportunity to work with specific age groups.
April 26th, 2012
Each year in April, Messiah closes down regular operations for a day of volunteering– Service Day. Groups of students and staff go out into the community to help area organizations with projects and the campus hosts the Area M Special Olympics spring event. The ministry group Klowns for the Kingdom, entertain athletes and their families throughout the day with laughter, music, and balloons.
April 16th, 2012
Whether you enjoy working with children or adults with special needs or are interested in helping out at a local pregnancy center, these are the Outreach Teams which focus on health and special needs:
- Best Buddies International aims to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-on-one friendships and integral employment. Student volunteers establish friendships with special needs adults at Paxton Ministries in Harrisburg. All of the college buddies and Paxton buddies meet once a month for a group activity/event . Also, one other activity between individual buddy pairs is encouraged (such as letter writing or visits to the mall together) each month.
- CATRA is a non-profit organization providing recreational and therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical and mental challenges. Students volunteers have the opportunity to work with handicapped children, helping them build confidence in themselves through learning to ride horseback. They may also be asked to help with chores around the farm, such as helping to clean animal cages and feed the animals. There is no experience necessary, just a willingness to be a friend.
- Morning Star Pregnancy Services: located on the outskirts of Harrisburg, this abortion clinic alternative has opportunities for students to help by sorting donations, assisting with office work and organizing and cleaning around the offices. Positions for volunteer counselors are also available for college students.
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