The "Time to Serve" volunteer program at Hope College has been chosen to receive a 2001 Distinguished Service Award from Keep Michigan Beautiful Inc.

The college is being recognized for the fall, 2000, installment of the program, through which some 100 Hope students did volunteer work in the Holland area on Saturday, Sept. 2. The award will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 11, during Keep Michigan Beautiful Inc.'s Annual Conference, being held at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre in Flint.

"I am thrilled that our students are being recognized for this program," said Diana Breclaw, who is director of student activities at Hope and staff coordinator for "Time to Serve." "They had a great time working together and helping to make their mark in their new home of Holland."

"Time to Serve," which debuted last fall, is geared toward the members of Hope's newly-arrived freshman class, and runs as a follow-up to the college's New Student Orientation which runs the prior weekend. According to Breclaw, "Time to Serve" has two main goals: first, to help students appreciate the importance of giving of themselves, and, second, to give the members of the college's newest class an opportunity to become further acquainted.

In "Time to Serve's" 2000 debut, the 100-plus Hope students who participated worked in teams of about 10 at as many sites. Projects on the rainy Saturday ranged from cleaning at Community Kitchen and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland, to weeding and planting for Holland Area Beautiful and Lincoln Elementary School.

This year's program ran on Saturday, Sept. 1, with more than 300 students working at 24 sites. In addition to Community Kitchen, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland, and Holland Area Beautiful, the organizations with which students volunteered also included the American Red Cross, Black River School, DeGraaf Nature Center, Freedom Village, Habitat for Humanity, Holland Township Recreation and Maplewood School, among others. Projects ranged from stuffing newsletters, to cleaning stoves, to painting playground equipment, to building a home, to planting trees and weeding.