December 10, 2015, 5:00 p.m. CDT


Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 402.872.2429




Peru, Nebraska- Peru State College students, faculty and staff have a long tradition of community service and charitable giving. Despite the press of finals and the end of the semester, campus organizations are still working to meet holiday and seasonable needs.

Dr. Dan Hanson, Peru State College President, says, “Throughout the year, our students work to give back to our communities. However, I am always impressed by our push to do more at the end of year despite all the other pressures of college life.”

Staff, faculty and student organizations were asked to provide a short synopsis of their activities over the holiday season and any photos they might have taken as they served. Thirteen students organizations responded.


Campus Activities Board

 Shelley Hartman, Peru State’s Student Activities Coordinator, writes, “The Campus Activities Board has been working on SENCA’s Little Santas. CAB purchased trees and student clubs that were interested are decorating them. On December 14th they will be judged based on creativity, most school spirit, and most holiday spirit. Then the trees will be picked up by SENCA and distributed to families in need.”

Campus Activities Board is a student organization that meets to plan and orchestrate a majority of activities that are held during the school year. Activities can include anything from campus service events to concerts.

Southeast Nebraska Community Action Council, Inc. (SENCA) was incorporated for the purpose of developing and operating any and all community action programs and activities. SENCA is headquartered in Humboldt, Nebraska.



Chelsea Reznicek, Rotaract President writes, “We started off the season raking yards in the community before Thanksgiving. As Christmas is approaching we have caroled around campus to raise money for ‘Save your Melon;’ donated as a club to the Giving Tree in the library; and provided a tree through CAB and SENCA for a family in need.”

Rotaract is a service club sponsored by Rotary International, open to anyone who has an interest in both community and international service. Recently, Rotaract raised $300 for Men’s Health and $120 for Love Your Melon.

Love Your Melon is an apparel brand run by college students across the country on a mission to give a hat to every child battling cancer in America.  They have partnered with the Pinky Swear Foundation to provide immediate support for children battling cancer and with CureSearch for Children’s Cancer to fund research initiatives to beat childhood cancer completely.

Love Your Melon is not an official organization on our campus, however Madelon Livingston is serving as president for the Love Your Melon Peru State College Campus Crew.  She is currently a freshman and has spread the word and raised money by selling Love Your Melon beanies.

Brooke Earnest, Peru State Academic Advisor, writes, “This money is then used as ‘points’ for Maddie to receive free items.  With the free items she and others on campus are responsible for finding kids battling cancer and to organize/ attend household visits.”

“Maddie just organized her first household visit on December 4 with a young boy, Cameron Burroughs, who is battling brain cancer.  Maddie and other Peru State Students gave Cameron and his family Love Your Melon hats, other gifts and ice cream (his choice for dinner).”


Peru State Psychology Club

Austin Barth, Peru State Psychology Club (PSPC) Vice President, writes, “Our club will attend the Feeding 44 initiative. It's the campus-sponsored event headed by fellow classmate, Je'Kerra Hopper, in which volunteers help local needy families get the necessary foods donated for their use. Our club will help select groceries; carry them to vehicles; and assist Je'Kerra in setting up and tearing down the necessary tables and furniture.”

The Peru State Psychology Club works to promote the study of psychology and provide a sense of educational enrichment and social service to the campus, community and its club members.


American Red Cross Club

Chelsea Turk, President of the American Red Cross Club, writes, “My organization did not do a charitable service this Christmas, but did have a Christmas party. We played UNO, Apples to Apples, and did a white elephant gift exchange. President Hanson and Elaine Hanson got a meal with the newspaper editor, Ama Bikoko, for their white elephant gift.”

The purpose of ARCC is to promote the American Red Cross on the Peru State College campus and to promote the mission of the American Red Cross. The club plans at least one community service project each semester and assists with the blood drives on our campus.


Christian Student Fellowship

Kim Haizlip with the Christian Student Fellowship, writes, “For this Christmas season we gathered shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse. We put together seventeen boxes”

The Christian Student Fellowship is a non-denominational campus ministry based in Nebraska. CSF exists to share the love, truth, and purpose of Jesus Christ with college students, changing the world one life at a time.

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love.


Science Club

Dr. Joanna Cielocha, advisor to the Science Club writes, “The students wanted to show their appreciation for the science faculty and all that they do. We hosted a Science Faculty Appreciation Chili Lunch to give thanks for how our faculty impacts our students daily.”

The Peru State Science Club is for students who share a common interest in the sciences. Science Club promotes science and science activities on and around campus.


Actions in Motion

Dr. Gina Bittner, advisor for campus ministry group Actions in Motion, writes, “AIM gave back to Nemaha County by donating and decorating a Christmas tree for the recent auction at Nemaha County Hospital. The tree was loaded with ornaments and children’s books under the theme, ‘Growing in God’s Love.’ Furthermore, AIM volunteered at the Table Grace Cafe in Omaha, Nebraska where we served in a ‘pay as you can’ style of cafe on November 21st to the hungry and homeless population in Omaha.”

Actions in Motion is a student service organization seeking to serve its campus and community in Christ’s name. The campus organization is a chapter of the Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry organization


Phi Beta Lambda

Dr. Sheri Grotrian-Ryan writes, “Phi Beta Lambda chose to participate in Nemaha County Gives Back where various groups and businesses donated something to the cause. Our club chose to purchase and a decorate a tree.”

The tree was auctioned off for $200 and other items from PBL brought in an additional $220. PBL also participated in the SENCA’s Little Santas event and the Giving Tree for Growing Great Kids.

Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is a state and national business leadership fraternity. Peru State College’s chapter, Epsilon Tau, is open to all students interested in business and/or leadership. Students do not need to be a business major to join our chapter.


Student Athletic Advisory Council

The Student Athletic Advisory Council also donated items to Nemaha County Gives Back. The purpose of SAAC is to facilitate communication and support between athletic teams. Members of SAAC must be nominated by their coaches.

Nemaha County Gives Back is a fundraiser hosted by the Nemaha County Hospital. Funds raised went to SENCA and will be distributed to area families in need.


Black Student Union

Kristi Nies, advisor for the Black Student Union, writes, “The Hispanic Latino Student Association (HLSA), Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) and Black Student Union (BSU) hosted a toy drive on campus. The new and gently used toys collected will be distributed to needy children in Southeast Nebraska. The Bobcat Athletic Department joined the effort by reducing admission prices by half for those who brought a toy to the Dec. 9 women’s basketball game. Peru State students and employees who attended the game and donated a toy received a ticket for a bag of popcorn.”

The purpose of the Peru State College Black Student Union is to foster a sense of community, stimulate the intellectual, social, cultural, and political growth of all Peru State College students, and provide support for students and the community. The black student union is open for membership to all PSC students of all backgrounds.



 In addition to the toy drive held in conjunction with the Black Student Union and Phi Beta Lambda, the HLSA hosted a food drive on campus that raised over two hundred pounds of food for SENCA.The Hispanic Latino Student Association is new to campus this semester and serves as an educational and cultural learning instrument for all students, faculty and staff.


Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta decorated a tree for Little Santas in partnership with the Campus Activities Board and SENCA. Phi Alpha Theta also participated in Feeding 44 on Friday, December 11.

Phi Alpha Theta is a professional society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. They seek to bring students, teachers and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by our members in a variety of ways.



Peggy Groff, advisor for PILOT (Peru Individual Leaders of Today), writes, “The ‘Giving Tree’ is for Growing Great Kids which is a program within Southeast District Health Department which serves our area.  The tree has tags on it and then students and staff pick the tag, buy the requested item and return it unwrapped with the tag on it under the Christmas tree in the Library.  Several clubs and groups on campus have worked together to give generously for this effort.  It has been fun to watch the pile of gifts grow!”

PILOT sponsored another activity where students made fleece blankets for Project Linus.  Several students worked together to make tied fleece blankets that were delivered to a drop off location in Omaha to be distributed to hospitals participating in the program.

PILOT also organized an event where students made Thanksgiving cards that were sent to the Veteran’s Hospital in Omaha.  The intent was to thank veterans (patients) for their service and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.

The purpose of PILOT is to provide an opportunity for the students at PSC to volunteer in service learning projects that will benefit others.  Targeted groups will include, but not limited to, agencies that serve those with learning and physical disabilities, retirement and nursing homes, food banks, nonprofit groups such as Peru Day Care and Girl Scouts, as well as other organizations such as Project Response, Hearts United for Animals, etc.


Peru State Theatre Company

Dr. Josh Young, advisor for the Peru State Theatre Company, writes, “This past Saturday, 20 members of Peru Theatre Company met at the Good Samaritan Society Rehabilitation Center in Auburn to spread holiday cheer. We helped them to play Bingo and then we led them in a series of holiday carols.”

The group was formerly known as the “Peru Players.” The group is still dedicated to renewing interest in Theatre Arts throughout campus and community.



Students are not the only ones to give during the holiday season. Staff and faculty have been involved in most if not all of the above listed events and activities.

PILOT Club, Peru Theater Company and Professional Staff Senate joined forces to support SENCA by ringing Salvation Army bells at SunMart and Casey’s in Auburn on Saturday morning, December 5. 90% of the donations stay in Nemaha County and the other 10% goes to the Salvation Army. The funds are used to help needy families during the winter months for things like utilities, rent, etc.

Faculty and staff were able to wear jeans on Friday, December 4 if they brought toys for boys and girls of any age, stocking stuffers or holiday treats to donate to the St. Nicholas Program sponsored by Catholic Social Service in Auburn. The St. Nicholas Program received approximately 75 toys and stocking stuffers for southeast Nebraska children in need.

Phi Beta Lambda around a Christmas Tree. Phi Beta Lambda after decorating their tree: Back (left side): Lauren Robertson, Hannah Chubbuck & Melissa Jasso Front (left side): Emie Hausmann, Rachael Cole Back (right side): Jenna Gruber, Liam McClarnon, Scott Riley, Lindsay Harlow, Caleb Nelson Front (right side): Dolores McGargill & Kendra Alberts

Peru State Science Club Peru State Science Club after their Chili Feed: Front Row: Jay Bryant, Senior; Sarah Budz, Freshman; Carlee Cortez, Freshman. Back Row: Dr. Joanna Cielocha, Assistant Professor of Biology; Whitni Redman, Senior; Shane Brichacek, Sophomore; Makenzi Humphrey, Freshman; Nick Hohensee, Freshman; and Dr. Paul Hinrichs, Professor of Mathematics Nicole and Chelsea Reznicek (Omaha) with Student Athlete Advisory Council’s (SAAC) Silent Auction item for Nemaha County Gives Back Nicole and Chelsea Reznicek with Student Athlete Advisory Council’s (SAAC) Silent Auction item for Nemaha County Gives Back Actions in Motion. From Left to Right - Taylor Pfeifer, Pastor Ken Miller, Elizabeth Chamberlin, Gabe Hoins, Dr. Gina Bittner, Isaac Bittner, Mackenzie Faris Actions in Motion decorating a tree. From Left to Right - Taylor Pfeifer, Pastor Ken Miller, Elizabeth Chamberlin, Gabe Hoins, Dr. Gina Bittner, Isaac Bittner, Mackenzie Faris



For more information, visit or call 1-800-742-4412.


About Peru State College: Peru State’s “Campus of a Thousand Oaks,” an arboretum, is nestled in historic southeast Nebraska. The state’s first college, Peru State offers a unique mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs, including online graduate degrees in education and organizational management. It is a college of choice fostering excellence and student achievement through engagement in a culture that promotes inquiry, discovery and innovation.