Spartanburg Methodist College received word today that they have been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2014. The President’s Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions whose community service efforts achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. This distinction is the highest federal recognition colleges and universities can receive for community service, service-learning, and civic engagement.
”Service to our community and state is a part of our culture and nature. It is what we do at SMC and to be recognized by the President’s Honor Roll is gratifying,” shared Ron Laffitte, Dean of Students at SMC.
Since 1911, service to humanity has been stressed daily at Spartanburg Methodist College. Today, SMC students continue the tradition by volunteering at hospitals, schools, churches, animal shelters, soup kitchens, etc. In so doing, they gain valuable skills, nurture a strong work ethic, and develop assets that translate to future benefits for them personally and for society (81% of Americans who volunteered as a youth, give to charitable organizations as adults.).
SMC’s strategic commitment to engage students in service strengthens the student and the local community. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the College reported over 6,000 community service hours of investing in the lives of others, according to SMC’s Chaplain, Candice Sloan. “Volunteering fosters respect for others, patience, kindness, and the ability to empathize with people who are different from the volunteer” stated Sloan. “As a mission of the United Methodist Church, SMC lives up to John Wesley’s recommendation that we ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’ In the process, SMC students, faculty and staff have touched a countless number of lives.”
In 2012, a reported 3.1 million students engaged in community service, providing 118 million hours of community service, valued at $2.5 billion, per the Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. Volunteering is the foundation to student achievement and life-long learning. The benefits of volunteering are reaped both now, and in the future. Out of 13.3 million youth, 59.3% volunteer an average of 3.5 hours per week, versus 49% of adults, who volunteer an average of 4.2 hours. Statistically, students who volunteer just one hour or more a week are 50% less likely to abuse alcohol, cigarettes, become pregnant, or engage in other destructive behavior.