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RU students spend time volunteering at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch

By Justin Hawkins

The Reinhardt community took a trip to the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch to give a helping hand.

goshen-volunteer-groupOn Saturday, Sept. 10, 45 Reinhardt University students came out in support of the event. The people in attendance consisted of the RU Men’s Basketball team and Head Coach Jason Gillespie, as well as other students from Reinhardt University. The volunteers spent four hours helping at Goshen by weeding a play area, cleaning classrooms to prepare for the start of weekly tutoring, repairing mountain bikes, cutting down a tree and preparing a new, on-site gym for the boys to stay active. 

“One of our sophomores (Elijah Hirsh) brought the opportunity to serve, alongside fellow RU students, to my attention. He thought it would be a great idea and our three senior captains (Justin Bridges, Duncan Jones, and Nehemiah Jones) readily agreed when I approached them with the idea,” Coach Gillespie said. “Our guys gave up a Saturday morning after a week of classes and two to three hours of workouts per day. I am very proud of not only their willingness to serve, but also the manner in which they worked. The work they did wasn’t what many would consider fun, but they did it well and without complaint. They were glad to assist, in a small way, the amazing work that takes place at the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch.” 

Reinhardt University’s mission is to help build students, faculty and staff become better people. Volunteering at Goshen Valley Boys Ranch fits into that mission Reinhardt is trying to fulfill on a regular basis.

“It was inspiring to see so many students come and spend their Saturday helping,” said Coordinator of Programming and Service Meredith Keating. “I was also able to watch their reactions as they connected with the ministry of Goshen Valley Boys Ranch and its mission.”

Student Body President Katie Purcell said the experience was fulfilling and allowed students to experience community service quite close to campus.

“Volunteering at Goshen was a great opportunity for the students at Reinhardt to give back into the community and appreciate what we have here,” Purcell said. “It is always eye-opening how blessed we are. It was an amazing feeling knowing that giving five hours of my time on a Saturday could benefit so many young boys. It was a heartwarming experience, and I am looking forward to going back.”

The Goshen Valley Boys Ranch is an extension of the Goshen Valley Foundation that is a nonprofit organization. The Goshen Valley Boys Ranch houses young men that range from 11-19 years old that have lived in the Georgia foster care system. They were founded in 2000, and from that time, they have helped more than 225 youth since that time. The Ranch believes in the changing people from a burden to a blessing. Visit the organization’s website at goshenvalley.org to learn more about its mission and also sign up to be a volunteer.

 

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