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Lyon students give back to community | Community Spirit

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Lyon students give back to community
Lyon students give back to community

Normally on a weekday, Lyon College students can be found in classrooms, but on Service Day it is their time to give back to the community. 

Freshman Chrissy Willen of Heber Springs washed out cages at the Humane Society of Independence County. Junior Jon-Michael Poff pulled weeds from a flowerbed at a local school. Freshman Nathan Childers shoveled gravel at a church. Sophomore Cody Besett cleaned windows at the Batesville Housing Authority. 

Each year, the college releases students from their classes and faculty and staff from their regular work duties on Service Day to visit sites throughout local towns. The college representatives do everything from reading to elementary school children to washing church windows to visiting nursing home residents and bagging food for low-income families. 

On Sept. 27, Lyon volunteers traveled to nearly 48 different sites throughout the county including Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranch, Batesville Area Arts Council, Cave City Nursing Home, Eagle Mountain Assisted Living, Habitat for Humanity, Southside Elementary School, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Sulphur Rock Elementary School and Woodlawn Nursing Home.

Lyon College junior Josh Palmer said Service Day is an integral part of the college. He and several of his Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers worked at Central Magnet, pulling weeds and cleaning the playground. 

“As members of the Lyon Community, we receive a lot of support from the City of Batesville and its surrounding areas,” he said. “Service Day is our time to give back to the community some of that support that it has so willingly given to us. As a member of the Greek community, community service is a regular part if my life. I specifically enjoy Service Day because it brings the Lyon community together to achieve a common goal of giving back our time and effort to make a difference.” 

Freshman Angelica Holmes learned about hard work during her first Service Day while working for Habitat for Humanity.

“Service Day made me put things into perspective,” she said. “We always complain about how little we have, but working with Habitat for Humanity forced me to think about others. It made me realize I am blessed. I was tired at the end of the day, but knowing there is a family that is going to benefit from my labor makes the soreness worth it. I can’t wait to drive by in a month or two when the house is done and see the finished product.” 

Last year, nearly 400 students, faculty and staff participated in Service Day, for a combined total of more than 1,200 volunteer hours. This year’s total has not been tabulated. 

This event has existed for a number of years as part of the college’s mission to develop responsible citizens and leaders committed to continued personal growth and service. Since 1992, the Lyon campus has given 17,000 volunteer hours in Batesville and the surrounding area. 

Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said he is grateful for Lyon College students and their contributions to the Batesville community.

 “We’re glad you’re in Batesville, and we’re glad you’re at Lyon College,” he told the students during a lunchtime cookout. “Thank you for taking the time to help improve our city.”