On Aug. 19, more than 200 Bethany College students, staff, and faculty volunteered for the inaugural “Swede Sweep,” a day devoted to group service projects around Lindsborg. Projects took place across the community as well as along Burma Road and Bethany Drive with McPherson County road crews. More than 170 incoming freshmen and 35 upperclassmen Pathfinder mentors participated.
“It was satisfying to work side by side with Bethany students,” said Kathy Richardson, owner of downtown’s Small World Gallery. “The students who I saw were working hard—many with great teamwork, given that many of them just met each other.”
The Swede Sweep finished cement floors in the new TACOL Thrift Shop expansion, moved books and painted a room at the Lindsborg Community Library, removed rain water from new trash receptacles stored by the City of Lindsborg at the Tree Station, completed outdoor and indoor tasks at the McPherson County Old Mill property, painted at Vision_Tek, did outdoor chores at the YMCA Children’s Center, removed debris from the Coronado Motel’s RV area, filed and moved material at the Raymer Society/Red Barn Studio, and painted and cleaned windows at Connected.
“It was a great way to introduce new students both to the community in Lindsborg and to put Bethany’s core values–servant leadership, community, hospitality and sustainability—in action,” says Dean for Student Development Dan Dentino, Ph.D. “We worked with several community leaders and business owners to plan the day, which was a great experience for all involved. We look forward to continued partnerships like this in the future.”
Numerous community members have written to express their appreciation to Bethany’s students.
Carol Gusenius of Lindsborg Reality said she was impressed with Bethany’s students. “They jumped right in on the assigned tasks and really got a lot accomplished,” she wrote to Dentino. “I was only involved as a chauffeur to and from job sites but all I met were well mannered and seemed happy to help. Thanks for loaning them out!”
Debbie Jacobson, Bank of Tescott brand manager, said, “We appreciate the students as well as all of Bethany College faculty and staff. The relationship between the College and the business community has been awesome and we look forward to continuing to strengthen the ties! Good luck to all on a successful year!”
Ken and Linda Branch of the Courtyard Gallery and Bakery wrote, “We sure enjoyed seeing the students working together with Lindsborg! Thanks to all the hard work that goes into an event such as this. We are looking forward to a great year and getting to know the students.”
Suzanna Swenson of the Lindsborg Community Library said, “As someone who received their help, I am very grateful for the hours of work that Bethany students volunteered. The library has been greatly blessed by their help–two very large projects that have been on our wish list for a long time were accomplished in a single day. This would not have been possible without the volunteers we received as a part of Swede Sweep 2013.”
The Swede Sweep was part of Bethany’s 2013 Orientation, which welcomes new students to campus and the community. View photos from the day taken by Briana Zimmerling ’12 and Jan Cambridge-Lewis on Bethany’s Facebook.