Kettering students make blankets for charity

Dec 18, 2013

A First Year Experience (FYE) class spent their class period during Thanksgiving week making blankets for a drive organized by West Side Baptist Church in Flushing, Mich.

When it came to choosing between watching the new Thor movie or giving back to the local community, the choice for one Kettering University class was obvious - give back. A First Year Experience (FYE) class at Kettering spent their class period during Thanksgiving week making blankets for a drive organized by West Side Baptist Church in Flushing, Mich.

“Some of the other classes have gone out to dinner, gone out to see a movie or have a Nerf war, some went bowling. It’s supposed to be something fun we can do to bond,” Rebeccah MacKinnon said. “We were all coming up with ideas about what we wanted to do. Nothing seemed to strike anyone’s fancy, nothing really lit a fire. But when a student suggested charity – we took a vote and we won.”

MacKinnon is a senior majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science and is an instructor for a freshman FYE class. The FYE class is a first year orientation course that helps incoming students adjust to campus and university life. Each FYE class receives a budget for a classroom activity and this group used that money to expand upon Kettering’s “community vitality” pillar to help those in need.

“I think it’s an institutional mindset because I know of so many good people who go to Kettering,” freshman Josey Hrbek said. “I know a lot of people that volunteer their time. I know as an institution as a whole we are very involved in the community.”

Hrbek attended Linden High School in Linden, Mich., and is majoring in Chemical Engineering. She chose Kettering because of the co-op program and her desire to maximize practical experience opportunities during her undergraduate education.

Kettering University has been active in the greater Flint community this past year as they acquired Atwood Stadium from the city and have purchased blighted properties around campus and personally committed to demolishing them. Faculty and students at Kettering have also been active as Dr. Cleamon Moorer has led efforts to donate sneakers to area public school students and Andrew Sierra organized a day-long city-wide leadership summit with the aim of pursuing economic development initiatives in Flint.

Whether institutional or personal, the efforts of Kettering University fall under the Community Vitality pillar that has been identified as integral to the institution's success. This year’s FYE students hope that their efforts to give back will continue in the years to come and that Kettering students can continue to fulfill community needs while still in school.

“I hope so,” said Hrbek on continuing the giving tradition in the FYE class. “That would be pretty awesome.“

 “I don’t know if other students would want to do this next year but I think it’s a great idea,” MacKinnon said. “Our school has a large population dedicated to doing service.”