Residents of Calvin College’s Kalsbeek-Huizenga-van Reken residence hall gathered late last year as part of the school’s annual service auction to bid on a host of offerings, including baked cookies, knitwear, and singing lessons.
The proceeds were dedicated to Supper House, a restaurant-style food assistance program at a church in Grand Rapids, Mich.
All of Calvin’s residence halls team up with an organization in Grand Rapids to give students an opportunity to learn from and serve community members they might not otherwise encounter.
“I think it’s a really good experience for people to get out of this little Calvin bubble,” said Katharine Raybaud, a sophomore community partnership coordinator in Kalsbeek-Huizenga-van Reken.
“A lot of people at Supper House have very different lives than we have at Calvin.”
Raybaud and fellow coordinator sophomore Ellen Hoeksema bring four to eight Calvin students to Supper House on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the semester.
Dorm partnerships like this one have become an institution of campus life.
The partnerships are intended to forge more invested relationships, and the service auctions provide a way for students to show their appreciation for those relationships.
“Right now, especially in times when government funding for programs and services provided in our communities is being cut back, there’s a need that’s greater than it has been in the past, so there’s a need to give back in creative ways; there’s a need for people to be generous,” says Kruis.
In total, Calvin’s seven residence halls raised $13,516 for their partnerships with ministries and organizations.