Campus sends team to hurricane region; sponsors "Operation Character" in Anderson

Tue, 2012-07-31 15:12 -- univcomm

In a continued response to the devastation caused by the recent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast states, Anderson University will send a team of students and faculty to Louisiana to assist with local clean and rebuilding. The team of 30 students and five faculty members will depart for Hammond, Louisiana on Thurs., Oct. 13 and will return on Mon., Oct. 18. The university is also a co-sponsor for “Operation Character,” on October 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wigwam complex in Anderson. “The need in the areas hit by the hurricanes is so vast and the clean-up and rebuilding process will take a lot of time, “said Stuart Erny, director of Campus Ministries. “It seemed so necessary that we, as a Christian community, would move to assist those affected in every way possible.” (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria).

During their stay in Lousiana, the AU team will reside at Pleasant Ridge Church of God in Hammond, located approximately 50 miles northwest of New Orleans. They will do most of the clean-up work in both Hammond and nearby Covington. The trip is sponsored by Campus Ministries. In addition to the upcoming trip, many other AU campus organizations are helping those affected by the hurricanes by sponsoring fundraisers and collection drives. For example, Anderson Community Schools Corp. and the Center for Character Development at Anderson University will host an event entitled “Operation Character” beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20th in the ACS Wigwam Complex.

“Operation Character” will bring together national recording artists and entertainers Sandi Patty, Rachael Lampa, Anthony Evans and comedian Jeff Whye. The event will also feature Anderson Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Long, Anderson University President Dr. James Edwards, the Anderson University Gospel Choir, the Indiana State Champion Highland High School Marching Scots, and the Erskine (Elementary) All Stars.

“Following the disaster in the Gulf Coast region, we see everyday heroes making a difference everyday,” says Don Peslis, director of Center for Character Development at Anderson University. “These heroes embody the spirit of American character and further bring the importance of character to the forefront of our community’s awareness. ‘Operation Character’ will give a tremendous opportunity for our community to puts its character into action.

In describing how the event was created, Long says, “Often times, when a disaster hits, many forms of relief are provided quickly. Given the enormity of the hurricane, we felt as though we could come together – as a community – and export a resource that will help sustain the lives of those affected; and that is our character and for them to know we're here to help. That is the message we're sending.”

The evening’s agenda will not only support those affected by Hurricane Katrina; but it will also celebrate the city's local schools and the district's 10,000 children. As an example, representatives of the Anderson Police Department will be on hand to recognize the school corporation's “No Bullying” initiative. The program is being sponsored by ACS, Anderson University, The City of Anderson, the Center for Character Development, CHARACTER COUNTS! of Madison County, Anderson Police Department, the American Red Cross, the Anderson NAACP, and the Salvation Army. A special award will also be presented to recognize “Everyday Heroes of Good Character.” The award will be presented by the Anderson Community Schools Corp., The Anderson NAACP and the Center for character Development at Anderson University.

Collection stations for advance donations (e.g. canned food, baby formula, etc.) will be open Sept. 27 through Oct. 14 at several locations throughout the city of Anderson. All Anderson Community Schools will serve as collection points between Sept. 27 and Oct. 14. Mounds Mall will serve as a collection area, Oct.17-19, during mall operation hours (at the south entrance of the mall by Bath and Body). Anderson University will collect items at the bottom of Decker Hall (on the corner of Fifth Street and Nursery), Oct. 10-14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Finally, Ivy Tech State College in Anderson will collect items, Oct. 10-14, across from the main reception desk during open campus hours.

All proceeds and donations from the Oct. 20 evening celebration will help support Katrina relief through the Salvation Army, the NAACP Relief Fund and the American Red Cross. For more information, call the Center for Character Development at 765-641-3714 or the Anderson Community Schools Corp. at 765-641-2028.

The mission of The Center for Character Development within the School of Education at Anderson University is to recognize, enhance, teach and sustain positive qualities in the lives of persons in order to promote civility through character development. The intent of this initiative is to foster greater understanding and cooperation among individuals and organizations and help develop a positive environment to address issues that will shape the future.

Anderson University is a private, four-year, Christian liberal arts institution of approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, theology and nursing.