ASHLAND For many college students, spring break is a chance to get away from responsibility, but for some it’s an opportunity to help others.
Students from Grove City College, located in Pennsylvania, have been coming to the Ashland area for more than 20 years as part of the Inner City Outreach Program. During this time they’ve been able to help and volunteer for many community organizations including Shelter of Hope, Safe Harbor and the Community Kitchen. The students do everything from serving food to light maintenance work.
“We have been doing all different things. We have ripped out ceilings and painted walls,” said Matt Geary, a senior at the college.
Geary, along with other students, spent Tuesday painting and scrapping off wallpaper at Shelter of Hope located on Winchester Avenue. The shelter is a non-profit, emergency housing shelter for homeless or nearly homeless residents in Boyd and Greenup Counties. It has 10 apartments fully furnished and is rent and utility free. During the time residents stay at the shelter they also get information about how to deal with finances, look for permanent housing and secure a source of income.
“We just want to serve the Lord and give,” Geary said.
The students will be in town until Friday, which is the end of their spring break. During their stay the students will rotate each day to different organizations in Ashland, lending a helping hand whereever needed. The students will help the shelter by completing renovations to a couple of apartments, which will then be temporary new homes. “It’s such a great trip,” Geary said.
The trip has been going on for many years bring some students to return during their time at Grove City College. Geary along with others returned this year because of a promise he made to children he met last year who asked him to come back.
“It’s a great way to meet new people and serve the Lord,” he said. Students on the trip are from different majors and hardly know any of the other students who signed up for the outreach program.
“It’s an amazing thing, how we can all be brought together,” Geary said.
ADAM BLACK can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606)-326-2654