8/11/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Approximately 650 incoming Ashland University students will participate in the largest food drive in Ashland County on Aug. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
For the 10th straight year, students will participate in Ashland University Gets Involved with Service (AU GIVS) as part of the Week of Welcome Orientation program at the university. Students will walk in small groups to approximately 1,500 homes along designated routes within walking distance of the university to collect food items that will be donated to the Ashland County Food Bank.
Plastic bags for the food items have been donated by Hawkins Markets and Buehler's Fresh Foods and will be distributed to the routes on Tuesday, Aug. 16, by the University's residence directors and resident assistants. Each bag comes with a letter from Ashland University President Dr. Fred Finks asking local residents to donate and to greet students when they stop at their homes.
"We want students to be an integral part of their new community, recognize the importance of community service, and learn that Ashland, Ohio is Someplace Special," Finks wrote in the letter.
On the day of AU GIVS, students will walk around in small groups to collect the donated items from each home, either from the residents in person or through the item-filled bags left by their front doors.
Juliet Thomas, director of community service and leadership development at Ashland University, said that this event will be a great way to introduce incoming students to the Ashland community and to community service.
"I think it's neat and an important part of the Ashland University mission that students are exposed to a community service project as one of their first college experiences," Thomas said. "Most importantly, the generous donations of Ashland residents allow the Ashland University students to be participants in the largest annual food drive in Ashland County."
According to Thomas, typically over 110 boxes of food are donated to the Ashland County Food Bank through this event. Last year, the Food Bank, along with Associated Charities, served over 19,260 individuals in the community.
Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.