Project HERO was developed to strengthen ties within the community and give students the opportunity to see the difference they can make in other people’s lives while having fun. While Kansas Wesleyan faculty and staff have supported the project, the effort was initiated by students and continues to be student led.
Project HERO day consists of a huge meeting lobby where all the site leaders make contact with their volunteers and hand out everyone their project HERO t-shirts. After everyone is gathered we bring everyone in and thank everyone for coming out and give a motivational speech before we send them out to work at their sites for a couple of hours. Then the coordinators drive to each site, making sure everything is running smoothly and that everyone is having a good time. Then at the end of the allotted time (about 4 hours) everyone meets back up for a diner so everyone can discuss all of the different activities and services they performed that day.
This year volunteers worked at The Land Institute planting trees and building up a damn; the Audubon Pond where trash, garbage and algae were cleaned up out of the pond; Rolling Hills Wildlife Refuge where we rebuilt and painted a viewing dock; the Food Bank where volunteers planted a garden for the hungry of our community; We spent time at the assisted living center Alterra Sterling House and Presbyterian Manor to add joy and involvement for the elderly; Indian Rock Park where volunteers picked up trash; and we completely cleaned up and renovated an elderly ladies home that lived a block away from our college. Additionally, a group of children from Big Brothers Big Sisters came to campus to do activities with Project HERO volunteers.
Pictures of this springs project can be seen at
What we plan to do this year is expand the project to include volunteers from our neighboring college of Kansas State University at Salina, and have an additional Project HERO volunteer day in the fall semester. The main purpose of this day will allow the students of both colleges to work together for the betterment of the community of Salina, rather than being competetive. We plan to double the number of sites we have from 9 to over 18 different sites throughout the community as well as double the number of volunteers.