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Scots Day of Service releases ‘Red Sea’ into community

Vice President for Student Life Laura Hutchinson (center, in hat) and more than two dozen Monmouth students volunteered Nov. 21 at the Buchanan Center for the Arts. They were joined by nearly 75 other students at four other Monmouth locations.
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MONMOUTH, Ill. – Almost 100 Monmouth College students spent part of their Saturday serving the residents of the Monmouth-Warren County community.

The students were part of the College’s annual Scots Day of Service.

Led by Assistant Director of Leadership Development Jake McLean, the event sent students into the community to help organizations with various projects.

Vice President for Student Life Laura Hutchinson said the day is but one example of how Monmouth strives to serve its community.

“We do service well in so many ways at Monmouth, and this is certainly one,” said Hutchinson “For our neighbors to see the ‘Red Sea’ at various locations lets them know that we are their college, too, and we care.”

The community organizations served included the Warren County Public Library, the Buchanan Center for the Arts, the Strom Center Thrift Shop, Reworks Renovations and the Jamieson Community Center.

“All of the students who served with us were absolutely amazing,” said McLean. “They completed projects within a couple of hours that would have taken some of our community partners weeks to complete. It was a fantastic opportunity for students to get to know more about our community and for our community to see our ‘Noble Scots’ in action.”

Hutchinson said she was especially impressed with the level of participation shown by the College’s athletics department.

“I particularly want to acknowledge the high number of student-athletes who participated,” said Hutchinson of the 76 Fighting Scots team members who volunteered. “I got to decorate, sort random things and clean with many of them.”

One of those student-athletes, Lily Lindner ’20 of Morton, Ill., helped organize the event through Monmouth’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

“The women’s soccer team was very excited to help at the Buchanan Center,” she said. “We were able to help prepare the center for the Christmas season by creating holiday posters, putting up various Christmas decorations and organizing for the next gallery rotation. It was a fun day of contributing to our community while also being able to listen to Christmas music and getting into the holiday spirit.”

Lindner said that she and her teammates appreciated the opportunity to “pay it forward.”

“We were really happy to have the chance to be engaged with our local businesses and leaders in a meaningful way,” she said. “Giving back to the town that supports us as Fighting Scots was a great way to bring us all together as athletes and as a Monmouth community.”

And the Buchanan Center was equally thankful for the support.

“We were excited and thankful to have more than 25 students help in the gallery with four main projects,” said Buchanan Center for the Arts Executive Director Kristyne Gilbert. “They were very helpful, did an excellent job and had great attitudes. Our staff and volunteers had a great time working with the students and we are grateful for the College’s support of our community.”

At the end of their time in the gallery, the students enjoyed sodas and cookies while testing the center’s PA system with an impromptu poetry slam.

Hadley Smithhisler ’20 of Valley City, N.D., who is a member of the Monmouth Rotaract club, said working at the Strom Center helped her feel closer to the community.

“My favorite part of the day was getting to work with my fellow Rotaract members and incredible people from the Monmouth community,” said Smithhisler. “It was really impactful to see the generosity of community members who donated their old clothes and their time to the Strom Center and how one Monmouth organization can have a local and international impact.”

Katherine Hinman ’18 of Elmhurst, Ill, a member of the Fighting Scots tennis team, appreciated seeing life in Monmouth beyond campus.

“It took me to a different place in town that I have not been to at all,” she said. “I got to know some of the community and lend a helping hand. It was a great experience helping them, and I know that they really appreciated all the help that we gave them. Just the small work that we do helps them so much, and I am glad that I could experience that in the Monmouth community.”