"'Be a Good NeighBEAR' is our largest all-campus service day of the year and a great opportunity for Mercer students to connect with the Macon community," said Chelsea Flieger, coordinator of community involvement at Mercer. "This event has continued to grow every year, pulling in almost 500 students for this weekend's event. As we partner with the Macon community, it is our hope that the connections that Mercer students make this weekend segue into more service and community involvement. We are thrilled with the new direction of this event, in partnership with several local Shalom Zones, and hope that this partnership can continue for years to come."
The event will kick off at 9 a.m. on Cruz Plaza at the center of the Macon campus. After volunteers drive to their designated neighborhoods, they will hear a brief presentation about the history of the neighborhood and its residents. Beginning at 9:45 a.m., volunteers will work with neighborhood residents on revitalization projects. They will return to campus at 11:45 a.m.
The neighborhoods involved include five of Macon's six Shalom Zones, which were first developed in 2008 as part of Mayor Robert Reichert's strategic plan. Shalom Zones bring together business, civic, governmental and religious organizations to revitalize neighborhoods. Quarterly meetings are held to address plans for improving each Shalom Zone. Macon is the first municipality in the United States to embrace Communities of Shalom on such a scale.
"To have this level of support for our Communities of Shalom is overwhelming and speaks to the rising tide of support for improving all neighborhoods in Macon," said Mayor Reichert. "Thank you to the students of Mercer University for taking on this project, as well as other neighborhood groups that are doing their own cleanups."
Last year, more than 300 volunteers completed over 1,300 hours of service during "Be a Good NeighBEAR."
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 12 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing, health professions, and continuing and professional studies – on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center, launched July 1, 2012, includes the University's medical, nursing, health sciences and pharmacy schools. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. www.mercer.edu