MACON – Mercer University undergraduates served a total of 11,698 volunteer hours through the Center for Leadership and Volunteerism (CLV) during the 2014-2015 academic year. That service equates to a labor value of $263,205 for Middle Georgia, according to Hannah Vann, coordinator of community engagement at Mercer.
"We are so proud of the commitment of Mercer to engaging the Macon community through service," said Vann. "Over 1,000 students volunteered through the CLV this year, and we look forward to an even larger number of volunteers next year."
The CLV is a clearinghouse for service and community engagement opportunities for Mercer students and hosts events throughout the academic year. Students perform a variety of volunteer work in the community, including monthly service projects called Service Saturdays, the annual Be a Good NeighBEAR community cleanup and the Spring Break for Service program.
Community partners for these projects have included Brave Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center, Village Green Shalom Zone, Communities in Schools, Fuller Center for Housing, Rebuilding Macon, Mary Jane Newberry Butterfly Habitat, Bibb County Schools Afterschool Programs, Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia, Strong Tower Fellowship, The Dempsey and CareSouth Hospice.
Additionally, the CLV supports over 200 Mercer tutors as they volunteer in Bibb County Schools to provide academic support to elementary, middle and high school students.
"What is especially exciting about these numbers is that they represent only the service performed through the CLV and do not include Mercer's service-learning courses, departmental community projects or volunteerism by student organizations," added Vann. "We'll be gathering university-wide data over the next few months and fully expect this number to increase tenfold."
Mercer's commitment to community engagement is deeply embedded in the University's culture and includes service-learning, volunteerism and University-community partnerships.
Last December, the University was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, released by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This was the University's second consecutive year on the honor roll, in addition to being selected in 2006 and 2008. In January, Mercer's Community Engagement Classification was renewed for another 10 years by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Mercer was one of only 361 institutions nationally to receive the designation.
Organizations that are interested in partnering with the Center for Leadership and Volunteerism may submit requests at www.mercer.edu/volunteer.