ALLIANCE, Ohio – The COVID-19 pandemic made traditional volunteering through the University of Mount Union’s Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement undoubtedly difficult. Yet, 196 individuals participated in at least one of seven unique community service initiatives during the University’s fall 2020 semester.

One of those initiatives was the Holiday Helper Project, in which volunteers wrapped more than 500 books and 500 treat bags for Christmas in the Park. Gabriella Cataloni, of Hermitage, and Abby Kimball, of Clarks Mills, were two of the volunteers.

Another of the initiatives involved making 71 wreaths for residents of area assisted living facilities and transitional housing in the Alliance community. Alexis Schrader, of Greenville, volunteered as part of the effort.

Kimball and Schrader also were two of the 21 volunteers creating take-and-make card kits for residents in assisted-living homes.

One of the initiatives was a take-and-make blanket kit, with which completed blankets were distributed to The Salvation Army of Alliance, Alliance for Children and Families, Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter and the Stark County Humane Society. A total of 108 blankets were made from 61 Mount Union volunteers. Cataloni, Kimball and Schrader were three of the volunteers.

One of these initiatives was a community clean-up, which featured volunteers maintaining portions of the Iron Horse Trail, restoration of the fencing at the Alliance Dog Park and painting the exterior of the new Habitat for Humanity headquarters and Restore in Alliance. Kimball volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity.

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