While We Live, We Serve Clinton
PC students began moving back onto campus on Saturday, August 18. More than 400 new students have become new residents of the City of Clinton. It didn’t take them long to begin helping their neighbors.
As you can imagine, more than a thousand people in all moving into dorms can accumulate lots of cardboard. A couple of students saw this as the perfect chance to practice the college motto, “While we live, we serve,” by helping a ministry in Clinton.
Liza Powers and Katie Russell set up an area outside the dorms for all students to pitch their cardboard so they could donate it to Open Door Ministries. The students were excited that they could help such a worthwhile cause just by recycling their cardboard. Powers and Russell collected, broke down, and drove the cardboard to the ministry on East Main Street, beside Cooper Motors.
Open Door sells the cardboard to help keep its ministry going. Open Door serves those suffering from homelessness, addiction and hunger.
“Recycling is such an easy step to take, and the impact it has on our environment is huge,” Powers said. “By donating the cardboard we collected to Open Door, we were able to help not just our planet, but the people in our community as well.”
The effort to help Open Door was just the beginning of the volunteering the students did when they returned to Clinton. Every year, students volunteer in locations across Laurens County on Service Day. It’s a way for the new students to get acclimated to the culture of service at PC.
This year’s Service Day was on Monday, August 20. More than 300 students volunteered at 11 locations right here in Clinton. Students served at:
Hospice Store in Clinton
National Healthcare Center
Open Door Soup Kitchen
PC students served lemonade, painted nails and read to residents at National Helathcare Center. Students also visited residents at Bailey Manor and the Presbyterian Community, and students prepared a cottage at Thornwell so that children could move into it.
Some of the work wasn’t fun. They did landscaping and other outside work in the 90-degree heat at Bethany Presbyterian Church, the Palmetto Equestrian Center, and at the community garden on Bell St.
But that didn’t hold any of them back.
Hannah Sawyer was one of the PC students volunteering at the community garden. She pulled weeds from the garden, and she lifted 80-pound bags of cement and mixed and poured the cement as the students did their part to help build a new structure beside the garden.
The structure will collect rainwater to water the garden and will be a place to hold cooking demonstrations for members of the community.
“Helping out on Service Day is an easy way to impact the community,” Sawyer said. “Even though we sometimes don’t have the opportunity to meet the people we’re helping, it’s great knowing that we are making a difference in their lives.”
Service Day is over, but the students aren’t done helping out their neighbors here in Clinton. Students volunteer at locations across the City of Clinton and Laurens County throughout the year.
Service is a part of the culture at PC, and students help however they can.
"Service has been a part of the PC culture since the College was founded,” said the Rev. Rachel Parsons-Wells, director of Religious Life and Service at PC. “Service Day invites new students to live into this core value and introduces them to our neighbors in Laurens County.
“Once students get a sense of what it feels like to really help someone, they can’t get enough. They truly appreciate the opportunity to give back to the residents in Clinton.”
About PC: Presbyterian College is between Columbia and Greenville, S.C., 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.