CIU blesses community with 40,000 pounds of potatoes

A note to recipients offers a variety of community service by contacting serve@ciu.edu. (Photos by Johnathan Rabon
November 18, 2020

By Bob Holmes

Abby Carlson says she loves serving people. The sophomore Teacher Education major was among a large segment of the Columbia International University student body who bagged 40,000 pounds of potatoes during a community service day at CIU.

Carlson and her classmates spent a good part of the day packing the potatoes in 3,000, 10-pound bags that were picked up by designated churches and charities who in turn, made them available to families in the Columbia area.  Additionally, about 150 bags were offered to the general public.

Carlson says it makes her feel joyful to be of service as CIU prepares her for a life of ministry to others.

“There’s a whole world out there that I’m going to be in some day,” Carlson said. “There are so many hurting people. To be able to help them while I’m here is such a blessing.”  

The potatoes were secured through the Society of St. Andrew, a food rescue ministry headquartered in Virginia. The distribution was organized through CIU’s Christian Service Learning Department. Assistant Dean and Director of Christian Service Learning James McCall says community service is an important aspect of the CIU student experience.

“Our desire is for our students is ‘to know Christ and to make Him known’ as our motto states,” McCall said. “This is a practical way to do that.”

Vehicles lined up in a parking lot along CIU’s International Boulevard as students carrying the potato bags loaded them into cars, trucks and even U-Hauls.  

Nicole Rhone, who represents the Bookert Heights Community just outside CIU’s entrance was in line to have potatoes loaded into her vehicle, and was looking forward to blessing others.    

“That feels great,” Rhone said. “It’s a great opportunity for the community.”  

While this was taking place on campus, the CIU men’s and women’s track teams and the men’s golf team participated in a two-mile blitz cleanup of Monticello Road from the campus entrance to Interstate 20.  

See media coverage of the event from ABC Columbia news and News 19 WLTX

With record enrollment in 2020, BestColleges.com ranks Columbia International University the 2020 Best Online College in South Carolina, and CIU is #2 in the state for Best College Campus. CIU also consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South and a Best Value Regional University in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Request information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.