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Student Action Group at BPC's Liberty County Campus Extends to Community

By Terry Gaston
BPC Public Relations

When Dr. Susan Kinsella joined Brewton-Parker College's Liberty County campus at Hinesville in 2002, she said she wanted to form a student organization that focused on community service work while uniting the campus' largely non-traditional enrollment through such extracurricular activities.

Brewton-Parker College students Amy Knight (left) and Alvin Judge (right), both of Hinesville, and Dr. Susan Kinsella (second left), associate professor of sociology and human services, organize gifts under the Liberty County campus Student Action Group's Angel Tree, a project that will benefit children under three agencies in Liberty County this holiday season. (Photo by Terry Gaston)

This fall, the Student Action Group (SAG) founded by Kinsella -- an associate professor of sociology and human services at the Liberty County campus -- has a core group of 10 students that has focused its activities on helping those in need in Liberty County.

"This year's group has really taken grasp of the projects that we have performed on what is becoming an annual basis," said Kinsella, who added that the SAG is open to any student attending classes at the Liberty County campus.

For the Christmas season, SAG members established an Angel Tree in the center's student lounge, from which students could select names of needy youngsters as supplied through three agencies and purchase new, wrapped gifts for distribution before Christmas.

The benefiting agencies are Liberty County's Department of Family and Children; Tri-County Protective Agency, for children in both the outreach program and the shelter; and Gabrielle House, a group home for abused children in Hinesville.

In November, SAG members donated non-perishable food items to the Manna House, a food distribution center for needy families from the Hinesville area. Students in the group also donated food and desserts for Thanksgiving dinner for women and children staying at the Tri-County Shelter.

The SAG also had two projects in October. Members collected and donated $200 to the American Heart Association Walk in Liberty County, with a $150 Mile Marker placed to honor Mike Patti, who is in charge of the Brewton-Parker Liberty County campus' maintenance and security. About 17 walkers from the Brewton-Parker campus participated in the event.

Also in October, the SAG donated candy gift bags to the Tri-County Protective Agency.

"I have made deliveries of many of our donated items, and I enjoy seeing everyone's faces and that they are really grateful," said Amy Knight, a junior from Hinesville who is one of the group's co-presidents. "I love being a part of the Student Action Group and like helping other people."

Karen Ortiz, a junior from Miami, Fla., joins Knight, who is originally from South Carolina, as the other co-president this year. Donna Romain of Hinesville is a graduating senior and the SAG secretary, and Alvin Judge, a junior from Hinesville, is the group's treasurer.

Judge brought to the SAG many of the volunteer aspects he experienced during a 30-year military career from which he retired in 2002.

"As a battalion sergeant major, during the holiday period I would organize many activities and make sure we could support Toys for Tots, making Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets, and food collections and distributions," Judge said.

"Once I found the Student Action Group, I found its activities right up my alley. There is definitely a fulfillment, any time and any day, to make sure folks get what they need."

Knight said the SAG hopes to do more one-on-one activities during the spring semester, such as visiting nursing home residents. "I just enjoy working with different people and helping out others," she said.

Kinsella also has presented the concept of the Student Action Group as an example at the National Organization for Human Service Education's national conference in Nashville, Tenn., during the fall 2003 semester.

"This is based on what is called the service learning model, when you put into practice what students learn in the classroom and allow them to go out into community and work with community agencies," Kinsella said. "It was very well received, and a lot of schools were interested in the model and wanted to start a Student Action Group also."

"Wherever BPC students gather to pursue their higher educations, they inevitably survey the local community to determine how they can invest their time and talents to bring improvement, quality and hope to others," said Dr. David R. Smith, Brewton-Parker's president. "These students at our Liberty County campus have achieved a variety of such community service projects through their Student Action Group."

-BPC-

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The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
 
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
 
Updated on: April 15, 2010 8:26 PM