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First-year CU students gain community service experience through KHO

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By The Staff

Ashley Zsedenyi

Campbellsville University

Each year, Campbellsville University students have an opportunity to be stewards to the community and complete community service hours required by the innovative FIRST CLASS program.

Campbellsville University hosted its annual Kentucky Heartland Outreach Student Work Days for first-year students Aug. 18-19.

These community service days are a requirement for first-year students in the freshman class and in the corresponding FIRST CLASS program. During these two days, students travel to several locations throughout the community to learn about servitude and also to get to know their classmates and FIRST CLASS mentors.

KHO is a nonprofit organization that builds, rehabilitates and finances affordable housing across Kentucky. Launched by Dr. Michael V. Carter, Campbellsville University president, in 2000, KHO has provided an important student ministry opportunity for CU.

Although KHO became a separate entity in 2003, the organization still works closely with Campbellsville University.

The FIRST CLASS mentors and KHO staff directed each group of volunteers on the individual work sites.

Kelsey Davis, a senior public relations and sociology major from Shelby, Mont., served as a mentor and led a group of 12 volunteers at the Taylor County Animal Shelter.

Davis said, "KHO work days exist to allow Campbellsville University freshmen to see an incredible ministry that CU is involved in. It gives the freshmen the chance to serve others and give back to the community they will be living in."

She said her group fed and walked the dogs at the animal shelter, which "is a very simple thing to do, yet they appreciated our help so much."

"It was a great opportunity for the freshmen to get to know their classmates they will be with throughout the semester in Freshman Year Experience," Davis said.

According to Josh Anderson, dean of students at CU, there were more than 350 total volunteers who helped during the fourth-annual KHO work days, which included first-year students, student mentors, Baptist Campus Ministry Council, resident assistants, KHO staff and CU faculty and staff.

"Freshman Work Day is a great time for students at Campbellsville University to understand the importance of giving back to the community. We were pleased to hear many of the community organizations and churches were thankful for the help and attitudes that the students provided," said Todd Parish, president of KHO.

Parish said much of what the groups did included painting, landscaping, cleaning and general beautification of the locations.

Josh Hensley, music minister at South Campbellsville Baptist Church, said, "We really appreciated the help of the volunteers.

"It was really amazing to see the lives of the students reaching out through the university to the community around them."

The groups volunteered at the following locations: Green River Ministries, Miller Park, the Central Kentucky Crisis Pregnancy Center, Camp Kentahten, South Campbellsville Baptist Church, The Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Mt. Roberts Baptist Church, Camp Acton, Campbellsville Housing Authority, Taylor County Animal Shelter, Campbellsville Baptist Church and Campbellsville University Physical Plant.

For more information about KHO, visit www.khohome.org or call 469-4949 or toll free at (866) 426-1186.

- Ashley Zsedenyi is a staff writer at Campbellsville University.