Apr 28, 2009

Liberty honors faithful volunteers

by Matthew Coleman

The Volunteer of the Year Award is being given to two people: senior Mandi Forth and Nathaniel Saxon.

Saxon spent much of his time this year aiding two South Korean students with their English speaking skills by carrying out simple conversations about current events in America and South Korea. Before each meeting, he searched for various news articles for them to discuss and occasionally make videos for them to watch and talk about.

“The purpose of these talks is to help them improve their basic English skills through casual conversation,” Saxon said. “I spent about three hours a week actually talking with them and an hour and 30 minutes preparing articles and things to talk about.”

Saxon also spent three weeks during this past winter break in South Korea at a church-run English camp. He spent four hours a day teaching children how to properly pronounce English vowel sounds.

“I actually hope to go back this summer for a month this time and help teach English again,” Saxon said.
Forth has spent the year creating the Students Behind Our Soldiers (SBS) organization and expanding many of Liberty’s programs designed to honor and aid veterans and active soldiers. Some of the better-known projects she was involved in were lengthening the traditional military appreciation day to an entire week and gathering care packages to send to active soldiers overseas.

“Giving back to the military, no matter on how small of a level, is completely worth it,” Forth said. “They do so much for our country and it is the least we can do to give back a little bit to them. Showing them appreciation is the least we can do.”

Forth and the SBS have worked tirelessly this semester to increase Liberty’s awareness and support for America’s soldiers.

“Serving (the soldiers) and giving back to them is part of the commandment that God gave us in loving our neighbors and serving others,” Forth said. “It shouldn’t be on a merit level, but I can’t think of anyone else who deserves and needs our service than those who are sacrificing so much of themselves to serve us.”


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