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CU students serve community in Repair Affair

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Lucas Pennington

Campbellsville University

A nail, a hammer and a heart.

To help students learn about the Christian servant leadership, first-year students at Campbellsville University participate in Repair Affair, a service project organized by Kentucky Heartland Outreach, building decks and wheelchair ramps and repairing roofs for families in need.

Jon Hansford, director of First Year Experience, said, "The Repair Affair is an amazing service-learning experience here at CU and a great start for our first-year students to transition into our diverse service community."

Bethany Thomaston, a freshman from Auburn, Ky., said, "The Repair Affair showed me how great of a need there is for students to serve others in Taylor County and throughout Kentucky."

Thomaston's group nailed down shingles for a roof. This was her first time doing such a project, and she learned how to physically nail down the shingles as she got on top of the house. She learned how important it is to have a good roof on a house.

Her group worked on a house for an elderly woman whose house needed many repairs. The woman told the group how appreciative she was of the help.

"It made me think about doing things for others," Thomaston said, and she is planning to go to Africa on a CU mission trip.

She is going to Africa on May 7-18 to spread the gospel and do service projects.

Kelsey Best, a senior from Harrodsburg, and FIRST CLASS mentor, said, "The Repair Affair showed me how important servant leadership is to the people out in the community. It really opened my heart up for the people that we were able to help."

Heather Hensley, client advocate for KHO, and a 2007 graduate of CU, said, "I have been told by several homeowners how wonderful it is to have the students come out and volunteer their time to help them. The students were really able to accomplish a lot during this year's Repair Affair. It makes a big difference in the lives of the people helped when they can see such selfless acts."

CU partners with KHO, an organization that seeks to provide safe, warm and dry homes to homeowners who could otherwise not afford such needed home repairs, to provide service projects for FIRST CLASS small groups to complete together as a class.

Samantha Stevenson, a freshman from Elizabethtown, said, "The Repair Affair gave my class the opportunity to get to know each other outside of the classroom. We were able to come together for a greater purpose and grow together as servant leaders."

Rachel DeCoursey, a freshman from Hopkinsville, said, "The Repair Affair was my first experience working with fellow freshmen and it showed me how giving my fellow classmates are."

Tanner Royalty, a junior from Danville, and FIRST CLASS mentor, said, "I was able to see my FIRST CLASS students grow together while helping others. Repair Affair helps set the foundation for developing servant leaders."

All CU freshmen participate in Repair Affair, a FIRST CLASS small group project sponsored by KHO. Students take four hours out of a school day to repair a home for a family in need.

Projects range from building a wheelchair ramp for homes that are not wheelchair friendly to putting on a new roof.

KHO is a ministry affiliated with and founded by Campbellsville University. When KHO launched in 2000, Todd Parrish, a 2000 graduate of CU, was appointed executive director and has served as the organization's only executive director since it began.

For more information, contact Hansford at jmhansford@campbellsville.edu or call 789-5371.

For more information about KHO, visit khohome.org.