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Laker Nation News

Lake Land College Makes Impact throughout Campus and Beyond

Posted on December 12, 2019

Lake Land College students and faculty are tuning in on the innate human need to contribute and provide support to those in need. Throughout the semester, students and faculty carried out initiatives to raise funds, charitable items and quality of life awareness through several acts of kindness.

Students from Philosophy/English Instructor Tara Blaser’s ethics course spent the semester raising awareness surrounding domestic abuse and raised nearly $3,000 in cash and other charitable items to be donated to HOPE of East Central Illinois in Charleston. Broadcasting Club students organized a campus-wide food drive to contribute to the Laker Food Pantry and faculty members created a competition between classes to collect items for the Coles County Animal Shelter. The competition accumulated more than 445 items including dog and cat toys, large and small animal beds and leashes, among several other items.

As the first installment of the domestic abuse project for Blaser’s ethics class, the students were eager to go out into the community and contribute the required 30 hours of volunteer work. One particular group spoke at area high schools about the signs of abuse and ways in which to approach possible victims of abuse. Another group assisted in the selling of meat sandwiches by Possum Lodge #812 in Shelbyville, raising more than $1,500, or one third of the total cash funds raised in the class. The near $1,000 profit was donated to HOPE where 12 teens were sponsored by the class.

“The idea to raise funds by partnering with Possum Lodge was the idea of our group member, Ashley Miller. She’s worked with Possum Lodge for several years and we felt this was the perfect opportunity,” Danielle Having, Effingham, said. “It turned out better than we had anticipated and we are incredibly thankful Possum Lodge was nice enough to help us.”

Other students worked solo on the project. Lacey Lynn, Mattoon, took into consideration mothers and women after noticing the profound support offered to children and the areas in which mothers and women can potentially slip through the cracks.

“I thought to myself, ‘they are struggling just as much as the kids, if not more, because they have to stay strong for them as well. Why not give them something a little special?’” Lynn said. “I decided to make toiletry and hot cocoa gift baskets for them using nice baskets that could be used again and again.”

“The purpose of this project was to show students that they can make a difference in the lives of others,” Blaser said. “In the end, the amount of effort the students put into this project was unbelievable.”

Lynn explained her fear of the project when she first heard that she would need to complete 30 hours of volunteer work, because of other responsibilities.

“I was dreading it, because I don’t have much spare time. However, once I completed the project, I felt very accomplished and happy to know that I made a difference in someone’s life,” Lynn said.

“It’s empowering knowing that our class assignment allowed us to give back in a large way to those in need. None of us realized before this project just how fortunate we are to live the lives we’ve been given,” Having added. “I would recommend every Lake Land College student take this class. It really helps you understand just how different everyone’s realities are.”

Other student and faculty organizations across campus also raised goods for those in need, including animals sheltered at the Coles County Animal Shelter.

English Instructor Matt Landrus, Chemistry Instructor Greg Capitosti and Speech Communication Instructor Eva Ritchey teamed up to create the first annual Animal Shelter Donation Competition among their classes.

Upon returning from the animal shelter in Charleston with his daughter, Landrus took note of the lack of supplies and donations. This evoked a cause for concern among Landrus, initiating the desire to give back to the shelter.

The competition ran for more than two weeks from Nov. 6 to Nov. 22 and the goal was to donate desperately-needed items to the shelter. Specifically, the following items: pet toys, blankets, towels, cat litter, paper towels, bleach, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, animal beds, cat trees, rugs and dog houses. The donations were categorized on a point system with smaller items worth one point and larger items worth 20 points. Each instructor provided students with extra credit incentives.

Capitosti’s organic chemistry class won the competition receiving the most points of all participating classes.

“We’re blown away by the students and their participation,” Landrus said. “After seeing how much the students raised, we definitely have a goal for next year. This is something I see us continuing year after year.”

However, charity initiatives did not stop there. The Lake Land College Broadcasting Club recently organized a campus-wide food drive to contribute to the Laker Food Pantry. The food drive collected non-perishable canned and dry goods to the pantry which is available to all students. This is the twelfth annual occurrence of the food drive hosted by the club.

“Our hope is that students receive the benefit of knowing they’re helping others in need,” Greg Powers, speech communication/broadcasting instructor, said. “What’s interesting is I know some of our students have needs from time to time, so I think they enjoy being on the other side of the giving.”

For more information about the Laker Food Pantry and to complete a Shopping List, visit lakelandcollege.edu/laker-food-pantry or contact Sharon Uphoff, college nurse, at 217-234-5276 or suphoff@lakelandcollege.edu.

Students from Philosophy/English Instructor Tara Blaser’s ethics course spent the semester raising awareness surrounding domestic abuse and raised nearly $3,000 in cash and other charitable items.
Faculty members created a competition between classes to raise items for the Coles County Animal Shelter which accumulated more than 445 items including dog and cat toys, large and small animal beds and leashes among several other items. Chemistry Instructor Greg Capitosti’s organic chemistry class won the competition receiving the most points of all participating classes.
The Lake Land College Broadcasting Club recently organized a campus-wide food drive to contribute to the Laker Food Pantry. The food drive collected non-perishable canned and dry goods to the pantry which is available to all students.

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