Anderson University is populated by a student body filled with passion and driven with purpose. Organizations that connect and reach out to others are common on campus. One of the newest organizations to join the campus community is Student United Way, which connects students to meaningful volunteer experiences, service projects, and internships that make a difference.
The mission of Student United Way is to “serve to impact communities by mobilizing the caring power of students through meaningful volunteer experiences and service projects while voicing the needs of the community with willing partners to create lasting change.”
Kimberly Werline, a junior, helped start Student United Way at AU. Werline is the public relations and fundraising intern for United Way of Madison County. Across the country, United Way has begun Student United Way chapters, and the Madison County chapter was interested in starting one as well. Last fall, the Madison County United Way sent Werline to a Student United Way conference in Washington, D.C., to learn more about starting the club.
“Student United Way’s goal is to break down the barrier between Anderson University and the Anderson community,” Werline said. “We plan on doing this by planning volunteer projects, planning fundraisers, and inviting the student body to come take part.”
Student United Way allows students to find what drives them, and then to help serve that need. It allows students to invest in people’s lives, whether that is by planting a community garden, helping build a home, working in a food pantry, or providing help during a disaster. The organization works with various groups on campus including work projects, campus ministries, and social clubs.
“At the beginning of the school year we set a goal of 500 volunteer hours,” said Werline. ”We have already hit 270. We work hard to plan events that truly make a difference in Madison County, including Operation Weatherization. United Way provided the materials and students went into to low-income homes and prepared them for winter.”
Student United Way also conducted a clothing drive, with donations given to Alternatives Inc., a women’s shelter, and The Christian Center, a social service agency in Anderson. Student United Way is also planning to conduct a food drive, encouraging students to empty their pantries or purchase food, where it will be collected and given to Operation Love, another social service agency in Anderson.
— Corinne Schmitt is a senior from Geneva, Ill., majoring in communication arts. Schmitt is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.