CLINTON, S.C. (courtesy presby.edu) — Maison Payne doesn’t consider himself outdoorsy. But, as he dug into the dirt and pulled weeds at the Humane Society, he thought more about the animals and others who will enjoy the trail he and PC volunteers helped to construct at the property.
“Knowing that you’re doing something meaningful for people who wouldn’t have it otherwise, and you’re making a difference — it just eliminates any preconceived things you were hesitant about,” said Payne, a freshman from Greenville. “It’s been a nice experience.”
On Monday, Aug. 26, more than 100 students, including Payne, were dispersed in nine sites across Laurens County for PC’s annual Service Day, said the Rev. Racquel Gill, assistant chaplain for Multicultural Community Engagement.
Their service included work like laying the dog-walking trail, laying bricks, working in a garden, as well as engaging with residents in the county.
“PC as an institution was founded on the value and importance of service,” Gill said. “We see a need to engage incoming students around that value within that first week. Service Day is a great opportunity for them to interact and engage with the community that they will be living in and being educated in for four years.”
Many students said they also got to know one another and other members of campus while serving the community. Freshmen like Louise Blake, who worked at the community garden, learned something new.
“I’ve been laying bricks, which I’ve never done before, but it’s a great learning opportunity,” Blake said. “I guess that’s what Service Day is all about — learning and trying new things and helping out others.”
Students volunteered with the following organizations: Whitten Center, Piedmont Presbyterian Church, the Laurens County Humane Society, the Clinton Community Garden Project, Habitat for Humanity, Thornwell Center, Hospice Thrift Store, Presbyterian Community and Wounded Warriors.
PC’s motto is Dum Vivimus Servimus, or “While We Live, We Serve.” Students are encouraged to visit Student Volunteer Services to learn how to get involved in serving the community.