Bethany Students Volunteer at Wheeling Soup Kitchen

BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College students and a faculty member traveled to the Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling on Saturday, Nov. 2, for a service project planned by the Student Activities Council.

“Showing up to help the Soup Kitchen workers shows the community that Bethany College is here, and that we’re ready to help,” said student organizer Hunter Tenney, a sophomore social work major from Buckhannon, W.Va. “It’s showing that Bethany breeds great people, not just outstanding students. The community can benefit from the students, just like the student population can benefit from the community.”

Students Daniel Blum, Ben Fedoush, Wesley Crockett, Emilee Jarrell, and Whitney Abbott also participated. They were joined by Melanee Sinclair, professor of social work and coordinator of social work field placements.

The Wheeling Soup Kitchen, 1610 Eoff St., serves breakfast and lunch Mondays through Saturdays to anyone in need. About 150 people were served Saturday, said Laura Mendoza, executive assistant of the Soup Kitchen. At the end of the month, she said the kitchen serves upward of 250 diners.

The students helped open and close the kitchen, organized candy bags, sorted and restocked bread racks, served food and drinks, sorted through donated clothing, cleaned the tables and food line, swept, and mopped.

Mendoza said the Soup Kitchen, which offers a family friendly environment, welcomes groups of all sizes to supplement its staff of nine individuals, only three of whom work full time. She added that the kitchen is “100 percent community funded.”

“It’s always helpful when groups come,” Mendoza said. “They get to learn about the place when they come. There are some people who have a bad [impression of] soup kitchens and they won’t walk through our doors.”

In a separate outreach program, Bethany College is collecting toiletries and household items for Helping Heroes, a program based in Moundsville, W.Va., that helps homeless veterans.

Items sought include pots and pans, dishes and silverware, glasses and pitchers, cleaning supplies, such as mops, brooms, and disinfectant, garbage bags, dish cloths, towels, and wash cloths. Toiletries, such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, shaving cream, and razors, are also being collected.

Items can be dropped off through Monday, Nov. 11, at the Student Life office on the first floor of Bethany House. For more information, contact Tenney at dtenney@bethanywv.edu.

Students will packages the supplies at noon Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day.

ABOUT BETHANY COLLEGE

Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.

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