Local college students impact community and beyond through volunteer service

March 30, 2017
David McFarland
Taylor Berger, Jenna Paratore, Matthew Beightol, Casey McVay, Kelsey Monro, Courtney Paton, Emily Knowles, and Shantel Scott stand with a SEED sign in front of one of the homes they helped to build.

Clarion University, Venango's Studying, Engaging, Exploring, Discipleship Club members recently traveled to Valdosta, Ga., to participate in Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge where they built a new affordable home for a family in need.

The club is also known as the SEED Club. Participants included Matthew Beightol of Cooperstown, Taylor Berger of Houtzdale, Emily Knowles of Clarendon, Casey McVay of Franklin who serves as the club advisor, Kelsey Monro of Wall, Jenna Paratore of Johnstown who serves as the club president, Courtney Paton of North Versailles who serves as the club vice president, and Shantel Scott of Clarion.

During their trip, the club lifted roof trusses, installed hurricane clips and plywood on the trusses, and shingled half the roof, as well as many other projects inside the home, such as wall construction.

David McFarland
SEED members pose with a future Habitat homeowner (from left to right back row) Matthew Beightol, Emily Knowles, Courtney Paton, Jenna Paratore, Bridget, the future Habitat homeowner, Casey McVay, and Shantel Scott. In front is Kelsey Monro, and Taylor Berger.

Collegiate Challenge was an excellent opportunity for SEED Club to build upon the service projects they have worked on throughout the year. The club participated in the annual Discovery Weekend Resource Fair at Venango campus, providing incoming students with welcome bags filled with community resource guides, activity information, coupons, and goodies. They assisted Mustard Seed Missions of Venango County in the renovation of two homeless bridge housing facilities on Liberty Street and Elk Street in Franklin. Club members assisted in hanging drywall, carrying items up and down the stairs of the building for the construction crew, painting items, and cleaning rooms.

Past SEED Club service projects include assistance with local construction or renovation projects, fundraisers for Mustard Seed Missions, UPMC Behavioral Health Center, and ABC Life Center, an Ice Bucket Challenge event for ALS awareness, participation in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event for domestic violence awareness, to name a few. The club also completed mission trips to Moss Point, MS and New Orleans, LA.

David McFarland
Members of the SEED Club lifted a house truss in Valdosta, Ga.

The Clarion University, Venango SEED Club is a student organization with a mission to encourage students to stay connected and engaged at the campus with a focus on community service and mission work. The club's overall goal is to assist in the growth of students to be understanding, empathetic, and compassionate adults with a greater understanding of the world in which they live.

To learn more about the club, or to donate to their service, please contact advisor Casey McVay at 814-393-1229 or cmcvay@clarion.edu or visit them online at www.facebook.com/CUSEEDClub.

Last Updated 4/9/18