NORTH CANTON Walsh University celebrated its annual Homecoming Weekend Oct. 21-23 in several ways such as hosting a Professor for a Day, an Outstanding Alumni Dinner a service initiative where students and alumni volunteered at various sites around the area.
Nine students and alumni participating in the service initiative spent Saturday morning at the Hartville Thrift Shoppe helping preparing items for the sales floor.
Hartville Thrift Shoppe is an independent nonprofit organization lead by a board of directors from local churches belonging to the Ohio Mennonite Conference and Conservative Mennonite Conference. The Hartville store is part of the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Shop Network that provide funds to the Mennonite Central Committee for relief, development and peace efforts around the world. The organization donates to 60 countries, working with 520 partners and 729 projects.
The Walsh volunteers were helping put together Christmas trees and preparing clothing to go out on to the sales floor. Carl Musille, a 1982 alumni and current director of development, said the day of volunteer service is meant help local nonprofits as well as the students.
"It’s about preparing our students to be leaders in service to others and helping in the community," Musille said. "It also prepares them to enter the work world as well."
Several other volunteer opportunities were filled by students and alumni including making "calming caddies" for children in need, yardwork and working with kids at a football camp at sites such as the Canton United Way, Hartville Thrift Shoppe, Project Rebuild and Eric Snow Family YMCA.
Vee Miller, assistant manager at the Hartville Thrift Shoppe, said all the items sold in the store have been donated. The shop resells the items and uses the proceeds to work with human needs all over the world.
The store has donated more than $3 million since 1978, and more than $1.5 million between 2013 and 2015. The store moved from a site on State Route 619 to the building on Maple Street in Hartville about four years ago. The building previously housed The Hartville Hardware store.
"Since moving to this location, our donations have risen sharply and we are always looking for volunteers to help us sort, price and prepare items to put on the sales floor," Miller said.
The store was holding its first two-day Christmas Sale to kick off the holiday season. The Walsh volunteers were helping put together Christmas trees for the sale. Phil Stauffer, executive director at the Hartville Thrift Shoppe, said they sold $6,000 worth of holiday items in the first day of the sale and that it couldn’t have happened without the help of volunteers including the Walsh volunteers.
The Homecoming Weekend at Walsh was topped off with a tailgate party before the homecoming football game in which the Cavaliers defeated rival Malone, 24-21.