Student Doing Community Service Work with Children

Social Justice & Advocacy

Our Approach

McKendree University's approach to service is a service that does justice. We define charity, volunteerism, and service differently, with the hope or working towards service as defined below. We acknowledge that charity and volunteerism are forms of good, yet consistently seek to understand how to best serve our communities while ensuring to give dignity and justice to all.


Charity is the act of raising or collecting money or items of monetary value such as food or clothing and donating them to a person or organization. Similarly, philanthropy is ongoing monetary support of a specific organization or cause. In most cases, neither charity nor philanthropy involve direct service with those being served and has little academic value.

Christmas presents for children living in poverty or giving canned goods to the local food pantry constitute as examples of charity whereas philanthropy is a type of charity typically done by a group to provide monetary assistance to an organization or cause. Charity and philanthropy can be linked to volunteerism when one introduces a time commitment for a project in addition to monetary donations. Charity and Philanthropy are both works from the heart and a step in the direction of service. It is important though, to question agency and community needs before collecting to ensure the collections are not creating the opposite of the intention


Volunteerism is another work from the heart through the act of devoting one’s time or talents to a worthy non-for-profit organization for free. Volunteerism consists of projects that are completed in the short term, and those participating are not necessarily involved in understanding or solving social issues. Volunteerism is a wonderful opportunity and helps communities, but lacks some of the opportunities for personal growth that service offers.

Events like Into the Streets Day of Service, Trick or Treat for Canned Goods, and Special Olympics are examples of one time volunteer events that lack a long term commitment and/or a critical look at the social problems facing a population or community. Continued volunteerism has the potential to grow into meaningful service.


Service is ongoing volunteerism that focuses on understanding and actively participating in alleviating long term social issues. Those who participate in service are fully engaged with their communities and surrounding areas; through this engagement and continued analysis of self and society, mutual relationships are built and provide learning opportunities and dignity for all involved. Through service, students allow their hearts be touched which in turn challenges them to change through seeing the harsh reality of injustices people face. In this process, students begin to develop an understanding of other realities and critically respond to social issues, developing them into socially responsible global citizens.

Service offers the greatest range for personal growth and academic learning and therefore prepares students for leadership roles in society by creating a broader worldview, enriching ones purpose, engaging fully with community and continuing to learn. A regular time commitment at weekly volunteer programs paired with continued learning and reflection to understand and alleviate social issues associated with the population or geographical region being serviced is an example of how one develops a habit of service. True service should lead to solidarity with communities.

Ongoing Service & Events


As part of our dedication in serving the community and working toward social justice, students have the opportunity to serve our local community through weekly planned service, personalize service sites, and special events. Our special events work to educate the McKendree Community about social injustices and motivate them to work for the common good.

Additionally, the CCS works with faculty to build courses incorporating Service-Learning to help students understand and reflect upon their role in society and how the service they complete relates to their courses, careers and the larger society.

If you have an event that you would like to plan that addresses a social justice issue, please visit the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service to discuss the possibility.

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Legislative Action Day

Students have the opportunity to participate in a letter-writing campaign to our Illinois and United States governments to help stop hunger and homelessness.

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Immersion Trips

Alongside the Center for Faith & Spirituality, the LHCCS coordaintes immersion trips.  In the past few years we have been to Nicaragua twice, Memphis, and the US-Mexico Boarder.  In Nicaragua we learn about history and culture, meet with the Youth Network Against Violence, tour a sweatshop, and aid in service projects.  In Memphis, we visit the Civil Rights Muesum, volunteer with homeless ministry programs, attend a Civil Rights Tour of Memphis, and much more.  At the US-Mexico Boarder, we learn about boarder history, realities of migrants, walk along the desert trail, attend a court trial, and spend time visiting migrants in shelters in Mexico. Please see videos on the LHCCS landing page or for more infomraiton contact the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service.

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Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week: 2016 


Mass with Center for Faith and Spirituality, Sunday, November 13th

Where: Bothwell Chapel

What: Join us for a special mass service with a homily and special prayer around hunger and homelessness to lift up those who are struggling.

When: 6:00 PM

Contact:Tim Harrison at


Faculty Fashion Show, Monday, November 14th

Where: Ames Dining Hall

What: Check out some of your favorite faculty and staff while they strut the walkways of Ames Dining Hall sporting this season's latest.  Student organizations are encouraged to support a faculty member.  Each outfit is then donated to a local shelter as a full set.

When: 12:00 PM

Contact: Kelsey Sutherland at


Sleep Out: Factors of Homelessness, Tuesday, November 15th

Where: Quad

What: Create "care bags" for personal distribution, participate in competitive and educational games, and learn about the factors that fo into becoming homeless, such as mental health.  Join us on the Quad for a night full of fun events that shed light on the serious issue of homelessness.

When: 6:00 PM

Contact: Bailey Rhoades at


Brown Bag Student Panel: Hunger and Homelessness, Wednesday, November 16th

Where: PAC 222

What: Join us for a panel discussion with McKendree students who will share their experiences with homelessness.  Also join us to bid on auction items and learn about the new format of Empty Bowls!

When: 12:00 PM

Contact: Bailey Jones at


Empty Bowls, Wednesday, November 16th

Where: The Hett

What: Purchase a handmade ceramic bowl and some delicious donated soup.  Spend your evening learning about innovative ways to fight hunger on a local level!  All proceeds go to Good Samaritan House.  Special thanks to Art Club and individual donors for assistance with ceramics.

When: Soup is served 4:30- 5:15 PM; Speaker starts at 5:15 PM

Contact: Leila Vazquez at


Oxfam Hunger Banquet: St. Louis Area Food Bank, Thursday, November 17th

Where: Fireplace Lounge

What: Experience for yourself, through an interactive demonstration, the concept of world hunger.  Hear the St. Louis Food Bank speak about food insecurity around the nation and learn how you can be part of the solution.  Feel free to bring nonperishables to donate to the cause.

When: 6:30 PM

Contact: Shaq Armstong at


Legislative Action Day: Be a Pizza the Change, Friday, November 18th

Where: PAC 222

What: Claudia Collins, the Executive Director of the Bond County Housing Authority, will explain HUD regulations for homelessness and low income individuals.  She will elaborate on policy connections, and we will have pizza!

When: 12:00 PM

Contact: Hannah McCollum at


Service Saturday at Lebanon Food Pantry, Saturday, November 19th

Where: Lebanon Food Pantry

What: Spend a Saturday in service, and assist the Lebanon Food Pantry in sorting food that the Boy Scouts drop off! Signup outisde the LHCCS to reserve a space.

When: 9:00-12:00 PM

Contact: Emily Davis at


Global Awareness Week: 2017

All Week March 30-April 7:

Crosses in the Quad by Define American 

Define American members felt inspired by a prayer vigil many witnessed while on the 2016 Spring Break Immersion Trip. During the vigil, names were listed on crosses and called out. The rest of the group responded "presente." This process was repeated about 200 times before gathering in a circle to pray for past, present, and future migrants. Crosses will be in the Quad to raise awareness about immigration and for all the men, women, and children who have died in pursuit of a better life.

Flags and Facts by Admissions and various offices

The Department of Admissions and other campus offices are decorating their doors with flags from around the world. Please stop to figure out what flag is on each door and read interesting facts about the country to increase your global awareness. 

Flag Planting by Study Abroad

Pick up a flag from a country close to your heart in the Study Abroad Office and plant it at the Peace Pole outside Clark Hall anytime this week.

Global Dress by Multicultural Affairs

In order to further develop an appreciation and awareness of global cultures, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services is inviting students, faculty, and staff to participate in this event by wearing traditional attire from a culture or personal heritage from around the world. The attire should reflect a connection or identification with a particular culture (i.e. lived, travel to or worked there, have relatives or close personal friends from there). This can include Native North American tribal attire as well. This week-long event will promote knowledge of various cultures through ethnic dress. It is not a costume dress-up day but a day to reflect identification and solidarity with a cultural group and a wonderful way to show ethnic diversity and connectivity across the campus.

International Book Display at Holman Library

Stop by Holman Library and explore the various international texts on display.

International Music by CAB

Enjoy a variety of music selections each day as you walk through the Quad area. The Campus Activities Board will feature music from different countries and genres from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm each day. 


Kick-off Events:

Thursday, March 30th-Saturday, April 1st at 7:30 pm and Sunday, April 2nd at 2:30 pm: The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later: The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts

The McKendree University Theatre Department is sponsoring several performances of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, a companion piece to The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufmann and members of the Tectonic Theater Project.

The Laramie Project, one of the most-performed theater pieces in America, has become a modern classic. The play is based on real interviews and explores the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, and how his Wyoming community comes to terms with the tragedy and the hate that caused it. 

Following each performance, there will be an opportunity to discuss the show and the issues it raises with the cast, production team, and community members.

Saturday, April 1st at 8:30am: 5K Color Run by Wonders of Wellness: MPCC

The Color Run is inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi, during which colors are thrown to celebrate the arrival of Spring. Registration begins at 7:30am at MPCC, and the race begins at 8:30 am. Participants are provided with a t-shirt and goodie bag. Prices are $10-$20, depending on registration time and status as a student, non-student, or child. Please register at

Monday, April 3rd:

8am: Donuts and Dots by Study Abroad: Clark Lobby 

The Study Abroad Office will be giving away free donuts and coffee throughout the morning in the Clark Lobby for anyone that puts a dot on the map showing where their family is from or where they have traveled.

12:00 pm: Human Trafficking and the Rescue and Restore Coalition from International Institute by Young Feminists: PAC 222

McKendree's Young Feminists have invited Amanda Mohl, Rescue and Restore Coordinator at the International Institute, and Lauren Craft, McKendree Senior Intern at the International Institute of St. Louis, to present about the basic dynamics of human trafficking. They will cover topics such as: recruitment and control of victims; industries in which trafficking is prevalent; the difference between smuggling and trafficking; victim services and benefits; red flags and indicators; and how to report a tip.

12:00 pm: Food Trucks by SGA: Quad

Stop by the circle drive for a variety of Greek, Chinese, and Jamaican cuisine! The Student Government Association will be there to provide vouchers for students to use at the food trucks. Vouchers are limited, so get there early! 

4:00 pm: Study Abroad Presentations by Study Abroad: PAC 222

McKendree international students and students who have studied abroad will share their experiences in a panel format. Come learn about studying abroad and what your international classmates want you to know about their experiences. 

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm: Salsa Magic: Lessons and Dance Party by CAB: Quad 

Why go to the club when Salsa Magic brings the club right to you? There simply is not a more exciting, interactive, diverse, and educational form of entertainment than Salsa Magic. Join us in the Quad as Lee "El Gringuito" Smith, a professional Latin dancer who has taught in over 800+ cities around the world, teaches various international styles of Salsa and the roots of Latin dancing with his partner. Once the lessons are over, he spins records and keeps the party moving! Get ready to hear the best in Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton, and today's hits.

Salsa Magic has performed at over 450 colleges in 48 states, teaching more college students Latin dance than anyone in the world! This event is presented by Campus Activities Board.


Tuesday, April 4th:

10:00 am to 2:00 pm: Plowsharing Fair Trade Sale by CCS: PAC Foyer

Plowsharing Crafts, a nonprofit organization in Saint Louis, will be selling fair trade items to provide “meaningful income to skilled artisans around the world by marketing their products.” They are mostly staffed by volunteers and sell their items at a price that is fair to the individuals.

1o:00 am to 2:00 pm: International Food Sampling by ISO: Outside Ames

The International Student Organization will be giving away more free food from around the world. Like what you’ve sampled? Consider getting involved with ISO or studying abroad!

11:00 am: Gang Violence in Latin America and the USA by Aurélie Capron: PAC 222

Latin America has seen a surge in criminal activities and gang violence in the last several years. Central America has some of the most violent cities in the world. What are the causes and impacts of the rampant gang activities, and what does it mean for the U.S.?

12:00 pm: Holocaust Remembrance Tree Planting by CFS: Front Lawn

The Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Jews were the primary victims- six million were murdered; Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), people with mental and physical disabilities, and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi Germany.

Through our Days of Remembrance event set for Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at Noon on the Front Lawn in front of Bothwell Chapel, we seek both to commemorate this tragic history and to reflect on the lessons it holds for our lives today. We also pay tribute to the rescuers who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust and to the American soldiers who liberated the concentration camps.

5:00 pm: Tanzania: Who is my Neighbor? with Ada Jimenez, Dan Nickerson, and Teresa Nickerson: PAC 222

Dan, Ada, Teresa, and Thomas Nickerson came to the diocese of Belleville when Dan, then in the Air Force, was stationed at Scott Air Force Base. With the support of the Religious Sisters, Adorers of the Blood of Christ, ASC, they moved to Tanzania for a year. There they experienced the everyday life and culture of Tanzania, and they witnessed the Tanzanians' struggles for adequate education, work, and healthcare. Come to their presentation to learn about their cross-cultural experiences and how they continue to serve their community.


Wednesday, April 5th: 

10:00 am to 2:00 pm: Haiti Disaster Relief for In His Hands Orphans Outreach by CLIO: PAC Foyer

Kappa Lambda Ioto (CLIO) is coordinating a fundraiser to support Haiti disaster relief from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. According to BBC News, the hurricane was the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade. Well over 500 deaths were reported in Haiti alone. At the end of October, there were over 2.1 million people who had been affected, many needing humanitarian aid (UN-OCHA).

Although Hurricane Matthew was in October, most aid is sent initially and then slowly subsides, but the need does not subside so quickly. All proceeds will be donated for disaster relief to In His Hands Orphan Outreach, a nonprofit organization which is directed by a McKendree Alumnus and his wife.

12:00 pm: Taking an Inside Look at Global Poverty through the Lens of a College Student by Brown Bag Committee, School of Education, and English Department: PAC 222

The Jamaica Cross Cultural Practicum class will discuss their observations of global poverty from a college student's perspective. The students took part in a spring break trip during which they built a house with Food for the Poor and worked to improve a primary school's learning environment. Before the immersion trip, the students researched topics such as globalization, education, religion, and the environment, and they will relate their topics to observations completed during the spring break trip.

Photos, personal insights, and interesting conversations with the locals will be shared.

5:00 pm: Interfaith Seder Meal by CFS: Circuit Riders

This is a family meal celebrated originally in the Jewish tradition focusing on the Exodus story and the story of freedom from human slavery. In this celebration, we will be bringing a modern understanding and interpretation to the issues of slavery and bondage as we hear how current trafficking relates to their story and give people of other faith traditions a way to link slavery with modern trafficking. (A light meal will be provided but you will need to RSVP).


Thursday, April 6th:

10:00 am to 2:00 pm: Why Wrap: Exploring Sacred Head Coverings by CFS: PAC Foyer

Why do people choose to wear head coverings? Many reasons, actually! Stop by to pick up a headscarf of your own, provided by the Center for Faith and Spirituality, and learn more about this practice.

12:00 pm: Native Drumming by CFS: Eisenmeyer

You are invited to a unique opportunity to hear and ask questions of a local Red Cedar Circle Drumming group led by SIUE professor Greg Fields and company (reflecting the Northwest Indian tribe tradition). There will be both conversation and drumming so that you might gain a deeper perspective on the role that drumming plays in the ritual and spirituality of Native American Indians.

6:30 pm: Keynote: Mirror Mirror on the Wall: The Questions We Ask, The Answers We Seek, The World We Serve with Daniel Harrison by SGA: Bothwell Chapel

What do we see when we look in the mirror? What reflects back to us? What values, beliefs, ideas, and visions dictate how we live each day - and how do we embrace the truth that who we see in the mirror cannot be separated from the context of the world we live in? 


Friday, April 7th:

10:00 am to 2:00 pm: Haiti Disaster Relief for In His Hands Orphans Outreach by CLIO: PAC Foyer

Kappa Lambda Ioto (CLIO) is coordinating a fundraiser to support Haiti disaster relief from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. According to BBC News, the hurricane was the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade. Well over 500 deaths were reported in Haiti alone. At the end of October, there were over 2.1 million people who had been affected, many needing humanitarian aid (UN-OCHA).

Although Hurricane Matthew his in October, most aid is sent initially and then slowly subsides, but the need does not subside so quickly. All proceeds will be donated for disaster relief to In His Hands Orphan Outreach, a nonprofit organization which is directed by a McKendree Alumnus and his wife.

12:00 pm: When a White Pastor From Arkansas and a Queer Indian from Atlanta Meet at a Bar by Matt Fulmer and Shruti Desai: PAC 222

Life can often feel like an echo chamber. Whether it is through social media or more personal relationships, we surround ourselves with people who lok like us, think like us, and act like us. While these echo chambers may deepen our convictions, they also deepen the divides in our lives, making healing the pain caused by division much more difficult.

How do we step outside of our echo chambers and begin healing the pain caused by racism? How can mere individuals be a part of healing something as large as the trauma around race? Come be involved in the story of how a straight white pastor from Arkansas and a queer South Asian woman from Atlanta learned to heal through their friendship, reconcile their differences, and build foundations for the hopes of future generations. 

1:00 pm: Russian Foreign Policy by Dr. Brian Frederking: PAC 222

This presentation will provide context for the headlines about Russian influence in US elections and the Trump administration. How does Russia interpret the US and the current global system? What are the overall goals of Russian foreign policy? How do current Russian policies pursue those goals?

2:00 pm to 5:00 pm: Global Youth Service Day by LHCCS: Sign up in the LHCCS

Global Youth Service Day is an event during which McKendree University students spend an afternoon serving at various sites alongside youth from the community. The objective of GYSD is to get college students involved in service and encourage youth to do the same.

The Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service's McKendree Community Action Team (McCat) is inviting students to sign up as individuals, small groups, RSO's, or teams to go outside of Lebanon for this afternoon of service while the McKendree football team helps throughout Lebanon.

If you have any questions or would like to sign up, please contact Jessica Lirios at