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Richard Doty

Denise Wessels

Last modified: Tuesday, August 27, 2002

SPEA graduate students to help community in Thursday blitz

About 160 incoming graduate students at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) will be involved in a one-day volunteer blitz on Thursday (Aug. 29) to help Bloomington area community groups and non-profit organizations.

Denise Wessels, a SPEA graduate student, is directing the project as part of her duties as coordinator of START (Students Taking Active Roles Today), a SPEA program.

Wessels said there will be students involved in such projects as painting a porch at Middle Way House, spending time with residents at an adult day care center, repairing bikes at the Community Bicycle Project, socializing with residents at the Shalom Center, playing volleyball with seniors at Banneker Center, doing cleaning and landscaping at the animal shelter, gardening at Hilltop Nature Center and the SPEA Backyard Project, providing assistance at the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, maintaining trails at Griffy Lake, conducting woodland restoration at the Sycamore Land Trust, and doing cleaning and maintenance tasks at Harmony School.

"Our purpose with this volunteer activity is to provide a fun way for students to get to know each other, assist them in finding events in which they may like to participate while in graduate school, and conduct some meaningful service in the Bloomington community," Wessels explained. She said this is the second year for the volunteer blitz. Last year several students followed up on their one-day effort by helping their community group throughout the school year.

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, START conducts volunteer activities that are determined by a committee of students. "We think it is important for SPEA to get involved in projects like this, especially since we are a public affairs school," Wessels said.

For more details, contact Wessels at 812-340-1296 or