PC Students Serve the Community During Service Day

 

Last year, all of the tutoring programs for teens at Thornwell were moved to the church on campus as the school was being renovated.

The Thornwell Charter School opened when the school year began, but there was one problem: All of the furniture and materials for the teen tutoring programs were still at the church.

Sarah Bowers, now in her second year as Thornwell’s volunteer coordinator, knew she could rely on PC students to provide the help she needed. Nearly 20 students moved the furniture and materials so that Thornwell could get its teen tutoring programs up and running. 

According to Bowers, the students moved more than 40 chairs, 15 “super heavy” tables, “countless” boxes of books and materials, and four “massive” solid-wood bookshelves. All in the August heat.  

“All of the furniture and materials, other than the bookshelves, had to come down a flight of stairs,” Bowers said. 

“It was a huge gift to our staff that these students were able to come and serve. The project we were tasked with was not an easy one, but they got to work immediately, worked hard, and were an absolute joy to be around.”

More than 100 PC students, mostly freshmen and transfers, volunteered as part of the college’s Service Day on August 26. Each year, new students go out into the community to help those in need. They volunteered at nine locations across Laurens County, including Thornwell. 

Some students laid brick at the community garden or helped build the newest Habitat for Humanity house. Others visited residents at Whitten Center and retirement communities in Clinton or pitched in at other nonprofit organizations devoted to helping others.

Moving heavy furniture on a hot August Day is grueling work, but it’s all for a great cause. Bowers liked how the work brings everyone closer together.

“One of my favorite parts is seeing how when the students arrive as a group of 15 to 20, each person may know only one or two other people in their group,” she said. “But the act of working and serving alongside one another, communicating as they move a piece of furniture down a flight of stairs, has this super cool way of turning strangers into friends.

The undergraduate PC students weren’t the only ones who volunteered their time to help those in the community. You would have found more than 50 new PC School of Pharmacy students and pharmacy school professors serving the community four days earlier. 

They were at many of the same sites that the undergraduates visited during the pharmacy school’s Service Day and a couple others, too. Several pharmacy students and professors sorted and organized clothes, blankets and toys at Christ Central Ministries Mission House in Joanna. Others met at United Ministries to help distribute food to those who need it.  

All in all, nearly 200 PC students volunteered their time to help the needy across Laurens County. The two annual Service Days acclimate new students to Clinton and Laurens County and to PC’s focus on service.

“It’s wonderful that the college hosts this opportunity for their students to get to know each other through acts of service and making a difference in this new place theses students now call home,” Bowers said.

 

About PC: Presbyterian College is between Columbia and Greenville, in the college town of Clinton, S.C. At PC, we’re noted as much for our challenging academics as we are for our one-of-a-kind mascot: the Blue Hose. Our students are one-of-a-kind too: They bring their own interests and abilities to campus and pursue them with gusto. Students customize their education by choosing from 50-plus majors and pre-professional programs. They’re taught and mentored by a faculty whose #1 priority is their students’ success. Students research, intern, and study abroad. And they get involved on campus, a place defined by honor and ethics. PC prepares students to be fulfilled personally and professionally so they can contribute to today’s global society. 

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