Updated: Your stories of service

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The Lehigh family has heard the number 150 a lot over the last 18 months. In 2014, Lehigh played it’s 150th football game against Lafayette in New York City. 2015 brought the 150th anniversary of the founding of Lehigh and in 2016 we’ll conclude the celebration of our Sesquicentennial year at Alumni Weekend in May.

So why is 150 so special? It is a chance for us to recognize all the wonderful things that make up the Lehigh community; what has gotten us to where we are today and what will propel us forward. This February, we’ll take this opportunity to highlight a very special piece of Lehigh’s history and future: giving back to your community.

The first mention of community service in the Brown and White is in February of 1923 where it is mentioned as a “post-war movement that exists to make spare time constructive and rich”. It goes on to say, “It provides leadership and combines the resources of community agencies in work for vigorous citizenship and healthful recreation.” This may have been just the beginning of what came to be an integral part of the Lehigh experience.

Hundreds of students help meet the needs of local citizens by getting involved in the community service office each year. The office has provided students to assist in a variety of areas throughout South Bethlehem and beyond.

We know that the spirit of giving back extends beyond student life here at Lehigh. Many of our alumni are doing amazing things to make an impact on the community around them, here in the United States and worldwide. Starting on February 7 Lehigh will run a week-long spotlight on volunteers and how they work to help those around them. Keep an eye out on social media and the Lehigh website to see the great accomplishments our alumni are making in their communities. If you have a story you’d like to share for our spotlight, please submit it here.

In conjunction with the spotlight, many of Lehigh’s regional clubs will coming together in their respective areas to give back. To cite just a few examples, the Lehigh Club of Philadelphia will be volunteering at the organization Cradles to Crayons while the Baltimore Club leads a book drive prior to the Lehigh vs. Navy game in Annapolis, MD.

To share what you’re doing as an individual, or with fellow alumni or friends in your area, use the hashtag #fromLehighwithlove and email your photo and story to volunteer@lehigh.edu.

Updated: Read on for the submitted spotlights:

Name: Alex Burtoft Gilroy, San Francisco, CA
Class Year: 2008
Story: A classmate of mine from my MBA program has a very rare form of cancer called Castleman Disease. He’s a brilliant, humble, and driven young man and he’s leading the efforts to find a cure for Castleman Disease. My graduating MBA class (’15) has rallied behind him and made a pledge to continue fundraising even after graduation. We had our first event in San Francisco last night (Jan. 13) and will be donating the money to CDCN.org today. Every little bit counts!

Name: Amanda Cadran (Henry), Morrisville, NC
Class Year: 2002
Story: I volunteer with two organizations, one local to Raleigh, NC and one national, to raise awareness and support for maternal mental health issues. Last year, we raised over $7,000 for postpartum progress, and postpartum education and support. The event is called Climb Out of the Darkness and is meant to raise awareness of what can be a very dark time for new mothers.

Name: Andi Howard-Rein, Cranford, NJ
Class Year: 2011
Story: Every fourth Saturday of the month, volunteers from my church in Jersey City, NJ get together to make and serve a nutritious breakfast for about one hundred people in our community who are food insecure. I am often part of this group, chopping vegetables, frying bacon, trying to make grits, and greeting our neighbors early in the morning. It’s a great way to get to know the people in my church and others in the community better. One of my first times helping out, I was wearing a Lehigh shirt. As we were serving breakfast, a gentleman noticed my shirt and commented about Lehigh and its wrestling team, asking if we were still good. Every time since then, when I wear a Lehigh shirt, my friend stops to ask me how the wrestling team is. It’s a wonderful feeling to be a positive force in the community, and I can’t help but smile when my passion for service serendipitously meets my passion for Lehigh.

Name: Andrew Cagnetta, Hollywood, FL
Class Year: 1987
Story: We are hard at work preparing for this years dinner.   I can wear the shirt at our VIP event later this month. Over the last 13 years, Andy Cagnetta’s Family Pasta Dinner www.andyspastadinner.com, has raised in excess of $600,000 for LifeNet4Families (soup kitchen in Broward County Florida) and has provided more than 600,000 meals to the food insecure individuals and families in Broward County. In 2015, over 850 individuals and families attended the event raising over $182,555. LifeNet4Families’ invites you to join us on February 28, 2016, at the Signature Grand, 6900 West State Road 84, Davie, FL, for an informal, old-fashioned family style pasta dinner. Adults can stroll through an amazing silent auction while the children enjoy friendly game room activities and raffles.

Name: Ann Rutledge-Oswald, Naples, FL
Class Year: 1986
Story: I’ve been volunteering for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) for years. About 10 years after graduation, the NMSS announced their Bridge The Gap 120 mile round trip bike tour and I called to volunteer, noting I knew my way around Lehigh. In one week I went from Volunteer – to providing a lot of help for the overnight stay at Lehigh – to basically being in charge of the entire show for the Lehigh overnight stay. I ended up volunteering for the Bridge the Gap tour for all of the years the MS Society did it, and truly enjoyed welcoming repeat bikers as they arrived in the Rauch Field House after Day 1’s 60 miles – and they recognized me and I recognized them each year. It was extra special in year 1, when the society hired a bus to get the bikers from Rauch Field House to Dravo, where everyone would sleep before biking back to NJ the next day. The bus took the first group to arrive and returned in 1 hour, full of exhausted riders, because the driver got lost and never found the main campus!! So, I abandoned my finish line post to ride the bus and direct the driver to main campus. The bikers thought we were nuts when we dropped them off in front of the Music Hall and told them they had to a) walk up the hill to Dravo and b) climb many flights once they got to the old building to get to their assigned room for the night. Then they found out they then had to go DOWN 4-5 flights to get dinner at Rathbone. They wanted to kill me – the nice volunteer directing them all around – especially when they learned they had to re-climb all those stairs after dinner to get to their assigned room. All ended well, and at least 75% of the riders returned to the tour for all of the years the Multiple Sclerosis Society used that NJ to Lehigh and back route. It was great to see the return riders each year, and they truly appreciated my being there to volunteer, and my knowledge to get them around the campus easily, as their legs were exhausted from the 60 miles biked to get there – and return back to northern NJ the next day.

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Name: Anne Mueller, Wheaton, IL
Class Year: 1983
Story: I volunteer tutor at College of DuPage one day a week in the Adult Basic Education program, assisting students who are trying to get their GED certificate.

 

Name: Cal Covert, Clifton, VA
Class Year: 1979
Story: For 12 years I’ve been doing volunteer work in Nicaragua. I travel there 3 times a year. Some colleagues and I run a non-profit called NicaWorks. We focus on what the root contributors are to local poverty in many communities: lack of education, vocational training, healthcare, food security, leadership, and youth mentoring. Collaborating with committed leaders, we then create customized, local solutions. Then, we equip local residents with the tools, training and resources they need to create practical, sustainable change. As a graduate of the Lehigh School of Business, its been very rewarding to see enterprises launched, men and women succeeding in business and dignity restored to many regions of this extremely poor nation.

Name: Christina Diggs, Brooklyn, NY
Class Year: 2007
Story: Since 2010, I have been a part of Team in Training, an organization that raises awareness and funds to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), raising money for blood cancer research and patient support. As a team, we commit to training for an endurance sporting event and raising money through events and individual fundraising. I have run two marathons and five half marathons with the team and raised over $9,000 for the organization in this time. I also serve as a mentor to other participants who are new to the group and the program. As a mentor, I work to help individuals accomplish their fundraising and training goals. My teammates in Brooklyn have built a strong community of cancer survivors, supporters, and friends who proudly run, volunteer, and fundraise in the name of LLS.

Name: Courtney Buchanan, San Francisco, CA
Class Year: 2013
Story: I volunteer with CUESA, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, in San Francisco. CUESA is focused on providing people of all incomes with access to sustainable, nutritious and local foods. At least one Saturday per month, I help out with the cooking demos that are open to the public. I work alongside chefs from the San Francisco Bay Area to shop in the farmer’s market and prepare a dish that the public gets to sample. The chef gives a cooking demo and then gets to sample the delish recipe. Volunteering with CUESA is a great way to work alongside people who are passionate about cooking, learn new skills and give back to the community.

Name: Cynthia Gavenda, Summit, NJ
Class Year: 1989
Story: For the past 10 years, my husband and I have run a Special Olympics track and field program for developmentally disabled athletes ages 8 and older. What started as a program for a dozen or so athletes has grown into one consisting of over 50 athletes, 10 adult coaches and approximately 75 volunteer high school students who work one on one with our athletes. Our son who is now 17 is an athlete in our program as well.

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Name: David Fleming, Humble, TX
Class Year: 1974
Story: Two years into retirement from 39+ years at ExxonMobil. I coordinate staffing and compliance aspects of local food pantry, mentor high school students at risk of not graduating, and have become involved in RESULTS.org, an advocacy group for initiatives to combat poverty.

Name: Tom Smith, Dallas, TX
Class Year: 1958
Story: For the last 19 years my wife, Barbara, and I have volunteered once a week at North Dallas Shared Ministries, a service agency for the working poor. NDSM provides food clothing,rent and utility assistance, medical and dental services for clients. This keeps our lives real for those of us who have much for which to be thankful.

Name: David Setzer, Florham Park, NJ
Class Year: 1958
Story:

  • Volunteer Service to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)
    • Executive Board for 30 years: Patriots, Path Council, BSA
    • Council Service Center, Cedar Knolls, New Jersey
    • We serve 18,000 boys and girls 7 to 21 years in Northern New Jersey
    • Associate Chair and Member for 15 years: The National Boy Scout Committee
    • National BSA Service Center, Dallas, Texas
    • This Committee establishes policy for the Boy Scout Division of the BSA
    • Executive Board & Program Chair for 20 years: Philmont Scout Ranch, BSA
    • Philmont Welcome Center and Base Camp, Cimarron, New Mexico
    • This is the largest High Adventure Base in the world. We operate backcountry programs, training, and treks on 400 square miles of the Sangre de Christo range of the Rocky Mountains in Northern New Mexico. 23,000 teenage boys and girls, 14 to 21, trek our backcountry each summer.

Name: Deanna Geesler, Delmar, NY
Class Year: 1994
Story: I got involved last fall with a group called STEM, Strong Through Every Mile. The group empowers victims of domestic violence through the sport of running. Volunteers meet with participants three days a week and follow a couch to 5k program. At the end we all participate in a local 5k. It was an amazing experience for all of us, and I look forward to the next session starting up in the spring.

Name: Donald Peterson, Fairfield, CT
Class Year: 1968
Story: I have been a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County for over 20 years. Of the dozens of homes I have worked on my most memorable was being part of the steering committee, fund raising, and construction team for its initial Habitat for Heroes home. Our first veteran build was for a wounded Iraqi War veteran who was a single mother in need of decent affordable housing for her family. As a Vietnam veteran, the feeling of helping another veteran build a home for her family was truly a pleasure.

Name: Eskil Skip Danielson, Byram Township, NJ
Class Year: 1964
Story: Eskil Skip Danielson’s father (Eskil L.Sonny – Penn/Wharton ’39) was his role model, Skip started a lifelong service as a volunteer in pre-hospital care while at Lehigh. He became a first aid instructor with the Bethlehem Chapter of the American Red Cross while a freshman. He developed a volunteer relationship with the Bethlehem Fire Department, taught first aid to the firefighters and rode as an attendant on the BFD ambulance. Thus his fraternity – Beta Fi Delta. Occasionally, Skip was called upon to administer first aid on campus. Before graduation, he joined his first volunteer fire department and first aid squad. For over 50 years to present, Skip has continuously served as a volunteer becoming an EMT and paramedic. He has served as volunteer squad chief, president and in many other offices. While teaching at a community college, Skip volunteered to help develop the national Emergency Medical Technician program through Ohio State University and the USDOT. He served as the first EMT instructor-coordinator for Sussex County NJ for many years before attending the FBI National Academy where he conducted subsequently published research on police response to medical emergencies. Skip was also a Red Cross and American Heart Association CPR instructor. Best estimate is that he trained over 3,000 first responders and treated over 30,000 victims of sudden illness and injuries in his volunteer career. That career paralleled a professional career in law enforcement and public safety management. In 1996, Skip Danielson served as a volunteer at the Centennial Olympic Games, Atlanta, GA both as a member of the international police force and as an EMT. He has mentored three sons and three grandchildren so far who carry-on the family business of pre-hospital volunteerism. Skip is proud to be a Lehigh grad and very proud of his service which also includes decades as a Boy Scout merit badge counselor, Little League coach, USDOD ESGR volunteer area chair, elected mayor and board of education member and YMCA and 200 Club trustee.

Name: Heather Maltin, Gwynedd Valley, PA
Class Year: 1991
Story: I am the Event Coordinator and fundraiser for the Mattie N. Dixon Community Cupboard in Ambler PA. I have been a donor and committed volunteer for over 14 years. My goal in submitting my story is to motivate readers to start similar organizations in their own communities. As a Lehigh graduate, I live a very comfortable lifestyle and I feel that giving back is extremely rewarding.

The Cupboard is a non-profit community center that provides food, clothing, household goods, financial assistance, health screenings and emotional support to those in need in our community. We were founded in the 1970s by Mattie Dixon, an Ambler resident who had the desire to help poor people receive basic food items they were lacking. The original Cupboard was actually in her basement, then it moved to her church. Once it got too big for that, after several years in a storefront on Butler Pike, the organization moved to where it is today.   We are proud to say that we are a successful non-profit that plays a major role in Montgomery County in our desire to eliminate hunger…but this can’t continue without major financial help.

We are a community-funded, non-profit organization. We are run by regular, committed volunteers under the direction of one paid Executive Director. We rely entirely on the generosity of individuals, businesses and community groups who want to help our ever-increasing numbers of needy clients. We receive some basic food staples from agencies and our local grocery stores and produce suppliers. Many groups deliver food items to us on a regular basis. Others we hear from once or twice a year for financial donations, needed food and for community service projects.

My job is to plan community events and to do outreach for financial and material contributions. I also work in the office to help with administration. I grew up in this community and I feel so blessed to raise my family in such a diverse, multicultural area. We have an extremely generous community and because of this, we are able to offer a plethora of items and services to our clients.   For example, this year we provided personalized, wrapped gifts for over 400 children over the winter holidays.

In such an affluent community, people do not realize that there are MANY families who fall well below federal poverty guidelines. These are families with kids who sit in classrooms next to our own children. In the 14 years I have volunteered at the Cupboard, I have never seen such an increase in the scope of services needed by our clients. To address this, we recently partnered with Community Connections, an organization that provides emotional counseling and access to many needed services.   We are hoping that this will remove many of the barriers that exist for our clients.

Most of our operations take place in our main facility in Ambler. Clients come to us for services once a month and by appointment and receive a standard list of grocery supplementation plus whatever we have that is donated at the time. While here, clients can shop in our free boutique for clothing and other needed items for the home. Other services are available in our Ambler facility such as free nurse screenings and financial aid for emergencies such as utility bills. We recently opened a small-scale facility in North Hills with the help of Jarrettown United Methodist Church and we offer assistance with food on a weekly basis to neighboring families in that area. Combined we currently provide assistance to over 200 needy families in the Upper Dublin and Wissahickon School Districts.

Name: Jennifer Bodenstab, New York, NY
Class Year: 2008
Story: How my Volunteer Work led to Starting a Company

At this time last year, I was in rural India and volunteer teaching at Shanti Bhavan, a school for children of the “untouchable” caste. The school aims to break the cycle of poverty imposed through brash discrimination, deprivation of basic human rights, and stunted socio-economic mobility. Shanti Bhavan provides approximately 250 students with room, board, and education from pre-kindergarten through college. Those final two words drastically distinguish this school from so many others: through college. Only with a university education are these individuals able to secure a professional (“white collar”) job – a situation which enables them to make more money in five years than their parents did collectively in their entire lives.

So often volunteering is associated with giving, but the perspective and growth I realized from my two months of teaching at Shanti Bhavan has proved to be invaluable.

I initially saw my main responsibilities at the school as creating engaging classroom activities and ensuring the noise level didn’t reach long-term damaged hearing levels. However, this understanding shifted as I realized my time outside of the classroom contained more lessons for the children than my PowerPoint presentations on the French Revolution.

During physical education period, the boys tried to kick the girls off of the soccer field.

Me: Why do you think that is fair to the girls?

One of the boys: Because we have a big match coming up and the girls don’t.

But, why do we play soccer every day? To win big matches.

More importantly we play soccer to keep our bodies healthy. Do the girls deserve to be as healthy as the boys? Yes.

The girls stayed on the field.

The children were watching the volunteers’ every word and action. They saw how we managed situations, reasoned, created an environment, brought the A game, or didn’t. We were helping to shape, in our own way (maybe small, maybe large), their moral foundation.

I wanted to teach these incredible children equality, empathy, inclusion, non-judgement, and hard work. I never doubted my values but it felt different when I had to show up and consciously, with intention, represent them every day.

It felt like a daunting responsibility. What if I misinterpreted a situation and was strict without reason? Or favored a kid and paid them more attention? I would be letting them down. I eventually learned to let the guilt go and what remained was a constant attention to my actions and decisions. I was more accountable and aware of them than ever before. In my attempt to be a role model for the children, I had inadvertently and permanently raised the standard for myself.

This experience has led me down many paths, and one of the most meaningful was starting a company, Pip’s Marché (pipsmarche.com). I wanted to continue supporting individuals with talent and creativity, whose path to success faces barriers and challenges. Pip’s Marché works with artisans and shopkeepers in emerging markets to deliver unique, high quality products that have a story to tell. We want you to see the face of the individual you are making a purchase from, who you are directly supporting. And get something that makes you want to catwalk down the sidewalk in the process. Because, from my experiences, you always get something when you give.

Name: Jerald Hurwitz, Plainsboro, NJ
Class Year: 1972
Story: !n 200 I volunteered to serve on the board of the Princeton Battlefield Area Preservation Society, a 501 c (3), a historical preservation organization founded tin 1971 to preserve the Princeton Battlefield from a housing development by the Institute for Advanced Study. The society was successful in blocking the housing and acquired the land for the state battlefield park. I became the president of the organization in 2000 just in time to fight another preservation battle to save the site of George Washington’s decisive counterattack that won for him his first victory over British regulars. It is also the site of the first marine to be killed on the battlefield. This struggle continues to this day after we were named in 2012 to the 11 Most endangered historic sites by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a Level I priority site for preservation by the National Park Services. We have been in court since 2012. Recently the Civil War Trust has joined our crusade to save the battlefield site.

Name: Karl Kirk, Elyria, OH
Class Year: 1955
Story: I volunteer at the hunger ministries at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Elyria, Ohio. We provide dinners free to 50-100 people 7 times a month. We also operate a food pantry serving 70-100 families weekly with free take home groceries.

Name: Karl Schultz, Atlanta, GA
Class Year: 1988
Story: Over the 3-day MLK weekend in Decatur, GA I will be volunteering as a house captain to work with a team of community volunteers to perform home repairs for senior homeowners who need help to continue living safely and comfortably in their homes.   Projects include insulating for energy efficiency, plumbing, painting, general cleaning and yardwork.

Name: Kelsey Stocker, Bethlehem, PA
Class Year: 2012
Story: I was involved with Kappa Kappa Psi, an honors music fraternity, while I was at Lehigh. Through the group, I became involved with tutoring and providing free music lessons to students at Broughal middle school. After graduation, I continued to use my music connections to stay active in the local music scene. I have a friend that is a local music teacher and I often volunteer with her to teach local children about music and the important role it can play. It gives me the chance to give back but it also helps me to continue to enjoy the benefits of music. I love what I do and volunteering allows me to spread that love to others.

Name: Lauren Vargas, Bethlehem, PA
Class Year: 2019
Story: I have been volunteering since I was in middle school, throughout high school, and now here at Lehigh. I have volunteered for my school, church, and community. My most valued volunteer position has been at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem where I have been now for almost five years. Every time I volunteer I meet new people, help those in need, and gain medical experience. It is an amazing feeling to know that you can have a positive and compassionate influence on others and you can receive the same feelings. Being a Lehigh student,has allowed me to spread my volunteering experiences and share what life is like in the South Bethlehem area. Volunteering is not a job or obligation, it is a lifestyle. I love volunteering and I hope to continue as long as I can.

Name: Marc Rein, Cranford, NJ
Class Year: 2011
Story: I’m a professional videographer, with a day job, and freelance gigs in the videography field. I love to donate my time, however, and do so with the local television station. Cranford TV-35 provides local programming to the Cranford community, including township meetings, and live high school sporting events. This past year, I helped film 6 football games (some of which got quite cold) leading up to Cranford’s eventual state championship. My help will continue into the winter sports season, as we broadcast live wrestling matches and basketball games. I culminate my year in June, as I lend my services to the prom DVD. I love helping out, especially when it comes to my passion, videography.

Name: Mary Ann Saunders, Mount Airy, MD
Class Year: 2011
Story: For the past four years I have volunteered with the College Prep Program (CPP), which was created by a few of my co-workers. CPP provides individualized advice, assists with college applications, and gives students tools to succeed in college. All of the students come from underrepresented backgrounds (i.e. ethnicity, first generation college student, English is their second language, etc.).

Name: Edward Hummers, Potomac, MD
Class Year: 1958
Story: I have served on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Metro, MD, Inc. for 8 years and have participated in the building of housing projects. I have served as Chairman for a number of years and now serve on the Finance and Executive Committees.

I have mentored and advised high school students every weekend over the summers and throughout the school year when needed. As a mentor, I help the students select and apply to colleges, request financial aid, plan for success. As a SAT coach, I teach methods for successfully mastering the reading, writing, and math sections of the SAT.

Additionally, in 2014, I was able to help the students tour Lehigh with Admissions Counselors from the Office of Admissions.

Name: Mary Beth Tully, Garden City, NY
Class Year: 1984
Story: I work with a group of dedicated Reunion Class volunteers in 1984. And, we like to break records in terms of dollars raised (30th) and attendance (25th). Also, I am proud to be a Greek alumna of Lehigh’s best-in-class Greek Life and enjoy working with the Greek Alumni Council to strengthen Greek Life for all at Lehigh. As a local advisor here on Long Island, I am often using Lehigh leadership programming as a model for how my local campus can set new goals.

Name: Megan Bigley, West Chester, PA
Class Year: 2012
Story: I helped lead an animal shelter collection drive at the company I work for. We were able to collect so many items that we distributed them among 3 local animal shelters. I also helped organize a volunteer event at the Chester County SPCA, where 3 employees who were volunteering ended up adopting puppies and giving them forever homes!

Name: Michael Mott, Sammamish, WA
Class Year: 1990
Story: I was a founding member of a new middle school that serves only families at or below the poverty level in Seattle.   This school’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty through education and we are about to graduate our first set of 8th graders.   The community we serve has a 50% chance of graduating high school but the kids that go to our school have a 90% chance of graduating high school and 80% chance that they will attend a 2 or 4 year school.   Most importantly our school educates students for love and service so they can be part of the positive change for their families and communities.   You can find us at www.seattlenativity.org.

Name: Mike Rockman, Brielle, NJ
Class Year: 1959
Story: Hi, my name is Mike Rockman, class of ’59. Even though I’m still actively at work, every Wednesday for the past several years I’ve been a volunteer at The Medicare Rights Center (MRC) – a tremendously valuable free resource for people who need help with their Medicare issues, from enrollment through copays and virtually everything in between. I’m part of a trained team that takes phone calls from these folks – and most important, take the time to help recipients sort through the complex system that is Medicare. Helping people find solutions to their problems is gratifying beyond words – except for those words of thanks and sincere appreciation we get from those we’ve helped. I look forward to continuing to do this important work – and to proudly wearing my From Lehigh With Love shirt!

Name: Nancy Liu, Newton, PA
Class Year: 1983
Story: A volunteer project that I am involved in is cooking dinners to cancer patients staying at AstraZeneca Hope Lodge, a no cost lodging for cancer patients receiving treatment in the Philadelphia area. Throughout the year, we (GE Volunteers) make home cooked meals and provide entertainment, such as bingo, trivia or quizzo games, to the patients.   The patients are so grateful and thankful for the meals and the time we spend with them. There is lots of fun and laughter. It is such a rewarding and satisfying experience for me. These patients are fighting to survive. I never miss an opportunity to go back to make meals at Hope Lodge.

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Name: Peter Orrick, Denver, CO
Class Year: 2007
Story: In Feb, I will be stuffing backpacks with school supplies for low-income families.

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Sean Slattery, Upper Darby, PA
Class Year: 2008
Story: My main volunteering project is with the Junior Lifeguard Camp in Wildwood, NJ during the summer. I also help with cleaning up the area of West Girard near Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.

Name: Siobhan O’Connell, Napa, CA
Class Year: 1990
Story: Volunteering/serving my community is part of who I am and comes naturally to me. My parents have always set a great example for me as a person and citizen. At Lehigh I was part of LUV! Wherever I live, I choose to contribute and in my small way try to help others to help themselves and live a full life. Examples include Junior League – supporting women & families, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Hospice, literacy, Big Brothers & Big Sisters. Being active in community is important and I enjoy it and usually find that I get much more than I give!

Name: Steven Sturgis, Mount Joy, PA
Class Year: 1976
Story: For the past 5 1/2 years, I have volunteered at the local Junior High School, helping in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math classes. I provide support to the teachers by answering questions, tutoring students, monitoring work, and occasionally teaching a class. I am there approximately 20 total hours a week (usually 3 days a week). I love the opportunity to help students and provide real life experiences on how math is used in the working world.

Name: Tom Hachten, Camp Hill, PA
Class Year: 1984
Story: Started a group called Coder Kids, which teaches computer programming to kids ages 6 and up for free. We use community volunteers to mentor the kids. My son (who was 12 at the time) co-founded the group. We have the kids create games using the Scratch language during our monthly workshops. We have had over 500 kids go through our program, and held 22 workshops over the past nearly 2 years. Last weekend we held our first workshop which was attended by about 75 people. See details at coderkids.net and our site on Meetup.com (search for Coder Kids Harrisburg).

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