HPU Civitan Club giving back, serving community in big way

By Chelsie Gastright, Organization Editor

February 6, 2013

There is nothing more genuine than the act of charitable service. The act of helping another who needs it most is a feeling that is humbling and gratifying, and at High Point University, there are student organizations that make their primary goal serving and assisting others through community service.

Since 2006, HPU has been the host of a campus chapter of Civitan International, a large nonprofit organization that has a 100-year history of serving others.  HPU’s chapter is one of only 16 campus chapters in the U.S. and is the second most active chapter in North Carolina.

This year, the Civitan Club has been trying to make its mark through larger service projects, and this past fall they completed a campaign called Stop Hunger Now.

After months of fundraising at the university and through the help of family and friends, the organization had raised enough money to not only meet their goal, but exceed it. With the help of 25 Civitan Club members, as well as the women’s basketball team, the organization packaged over 10,000 meals.

“It was by chance that I joined but I’m very happy I joined,” said Erin Karpovich, Civitan Club member and Historian. “It’s a great club. It’s not so much ‘let’s have meetings and talk about this.’ Rather, we have meetings once a week and do stuff.”

At each meeting they discuss potential service ideas and then act. One project that continues to come up is serving a meal at Open Door Ministries. Dr. Daniel Hall, assistant professor of economics and faculty advisor for the Civitan Club, stated that they try to go in and help serve a dinner once a month, regardless of other service projects they have going on.

Other than Stop Hunger Now and the help they give to Open Door Ministries, the Civitan Club has volunteered at the Macedonia Family Resource Center for a “trunk-or-treat” event and assisted with the Special Olympics Victory Dance in December.

This semester, the Civitan Club is planning their biggest event yet. Partnered with Open Door Ministries, West End Ministries, and Partners Ending Homelessness, the Civitan Club is participating in a Homelessness Awareness Camp-out event.

“It’s aiming to get the community, Open Door Ministries, West End Ministries, churches, and organizations we have here to come together and spend a night outside to see what it’s like to be homeless,” said Karpovich.

Hall mentioned that they have already recruited the help of other on-campus organizations, including Enactus and the new men’s fraternity Beta Theta Pi, but are still looking for other organizations to join in.

“We do a lot of great things at this school individually but if we come in numbers, that’s awesome getting all together and doing something,” said Karpovich.

The event is not just open to student organizations, but anyone on campus who wants to participate. The event will be relay-for -life style and will hopefully feature a speaker that can give students the chance to understand exactly how prominent homelessness is.

While the students play a large role in the organizations success, Karpovich made it clear that the heart and soul starts with Hall.

“He’s always there at our meetings, he’s always there for us whether we need something or not,” said Karpovich. “He really cares about the club and it’s progress, and it’s evident in what he does.”

The club meets as often as they can, but the next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 14 in Norton 101. If you would like to get involved with their next service event, they will be going to Open Door Ministries on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m.

“A lot of times when I get busy with my job, and busy with all the tasks, responsibilities that I do, it can get easy to become self-focused, and sometimes feel overworked,” explained Hall. “It is actually refreshing to serve others in my non-normal duties as well. It’s a rewarding experience to me.”

If the passion to help others is there but you don’t know how to get involved, the Civitan Club is always looking for new students to help assist with projects. HPU is bursting at the seams with students and organizations that want to devote their time to serving others, and The Civitan Club is no exception.

 

For more information on how to join the Civitan Club and how to get involved with service events, contact Scott Skowronski, President (skowrs10@highpoint.edu), Stefanie Vorleiter, Vice President (vorles10@highpoint.edu), or Dr. Daniel Hall, advisor (dhall@highpoint.edu).