September 14, 2011

Old HouseMedia Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or

MACON — Hundreds of Mercer University students have committed their Saturday morning to serving the community. This Saturday’s event, “Being a Good NeighBEAR,” begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Macon campus and will include a neighborhood cleanup, Habitat for Humanity build and home renovations with Rebuilding Macon. The event is one of seven “Service Saturdays” this semester that tie into Mercer’s participation in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, and with the ongoing LEAP (Local Engagement Against Poverty) initiative, which was launched last year.

As part of the service projects, Mercer will partner with local nonprofits and work with members of area Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu congregations on the community service projects as a means to promote interfaith cooperation.

Students will gather on Mercer’s Historic Quad in the morning before going to the various service sites, which include the Habitat for Humanity build at 4136 Roy Ave., from 9 a.m. to noon, and two shifts with Rebuilding Macon at 1323 Carling Ave., from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. The neighborhood cleanup will take place from 9 to 11 a.m., with groups dispersing from the University to clean the areas around Mercer, including Tattnall Square Park and the Beall’s Hill neighborhood.

For more on the “Be a Good NeighBEAR” event, and the “Service Saturdays,” visit

Mercer is one of approximately 250 colleges and universities across the country to commit to a year of interfaith cooperation and community service as part of the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. Administered by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the initiative seeks to impact specific community challenges, from homelessness to mentoring to the environment, while helping to build social capital and civility.