Orienting students to spirit of service at Ricks College

Rexburg, Idaho &#151 Ricks College students got into the spirit of service Aug. 25 with a large humanitarian project on the day before fall semester classes started.

"I'm so impressed by the youth who are here and their willingness to serve," said Kim Clinger, a sophomore from American Falls, Idaho, and part of the New Student Orientation team that planned the event.

Ryan Olson, a freshman from McAllen, Texas, added, "It's fun knowing all this is going to a good cause." Helping to tie a quilt for the first time in his life, he said, "I've seen my Mom do it; it's not too hard."

About 2,000 students, mainly incoming freshmen, turned out for the project that included assembling 8,800 personal hygiene kits for the LDS Church Humanitarian Service Center. Large assembly lines were set up to package the kits containing towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, shampoo, soap and a sewing kit. The kits were then boxed, taped, loaded onto pallets and trucked to Salt Lake City where they will await distribution throughout the world.

The students also tied 100 quilts and cut out fleece toy bunnies and fleece jackets. Nearly all the materials were donated by the LDS Humanitarian Service Center for the project.

Allan Jones, coordinator of New Student Orientation, explained, "Part of the 'Spirit of Ricks' is to serve one another. We wanted to instill the value of service in our students early on."

The students were also told about various ways they could continue to serve throughout the school year. Such programs include Adopt-A-Grandparent, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Family Crisis Center, Friendship/Homework Club, Boy Scout Merit Badge Powwow, Radio Reading Service, Rexburg Nursing Home and Special Olympics.