MNU Students Do It AGAIN---$35K Passion to Serve Goal Met!
| by MNU News firstname.lastname@example.org
MidAmerica Nazarene University students have once again raised significant funding for the underserved across the globe. More than $35,000 has been raised through service projects, matching gifts and the university’s “$2 Twosdays” when students, staff and faculty are encouraged to donate $2 for the annual Passion to Serve project, at each week’s Tuesday chapel service. The project will provide for the physical needs of safe residential facilities and healthy food, for the orphans and vulnerable children of Siaya, Kenya.
The brainchild of ministry student Jeb Flynn, the project idea was born after spending the summer in that region witnessing the children’s overwhelming needs. Working with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries director of development Cort Miller, and district superintendent Rev. Peter Okinyo of Kenya, the MNU gift will provide for the acquisition of land, construction of housing, purchase of a vehicle, and start-up costs for various sustainability initiatives for the community. Okinyo and his wife, Grace, will provide leadership for the project and ongoing oversight. Thirteen MNU students will travel to the site this summer on a mission trip where they will work on the implementation of the project.
Last month MNU celebrated the opening of a medical clinic and community center in Patanatic, Guatemala -- last year’s Passion to Serve project for which MNU students partnered with Heart to Heart International and raised more than $50,000. Several groups of MNU students, Olathe Rotary Club members and employees and volunteers with Heart to Heart traveled to Patanatic numerous times to participate in the construction, distribute water filtration systems, and help educate the villagers on health-related issues. The new clinic and community center will serve hundreds in an area that until now had no access to healthcare professionals.
According to Dr. Randy Beckum, vice president for community formation, MNU plans to conduct a Passion to Serve project yearly.
“The MNU experience is one that is authentically compelling, intellectually demanding and spiritually challenging,” Beckum says. “From time to time, that experience compels our campus community to respond to the needs of others in a tangible way and that is why we find the Passion to Serve projects so enriching for our students.”
Next fall MNU students will embark on the 2011-2012 Passion to Serve project with Kansas City Urban Youth Center in Kansas City, Kan. According to Liz McClure, site and volunteer director for the Center’s Rosedale Ridge apartments, which serves more than 400 residents, MNU students will raise money to renovate space and expand the Center so they can serve more youth.
“We have 30 kids enrolled in our services but 300 live there,” McClure said. “We are most interested in creating new spaces for more kids to learn and grow with the help of caring adults.”
MNU has been a partner with the Kansas City Urban Youth Center for more than two years now, sending education majors, ministry groups and therapists to work with kids one on one in after school programs.
The new project’s goal will be between $35-$40,000 according to Beckum who says that in the last five years MNU students have raised more than $1 million for mission trips or service projects and 500 students have taken service and mission trips in the U.S. and abroad.
“We’ve had a global impact and we want to continue growing those opportunities for students to learn and to serve,” he says.