Raider Relief launches the Abandoned Stuffed Animal Project

Raider Relief launches the Abandoned Stuffed Animal Project

Visit raiderrelief.org today! The Project Welcome to Project ASAP, brought to you by Raider Relief. We’re putting together the biggest stuffed animal drive ever! Help the University of Mount Union and our awesome supporters in the city of Alliance as we donate our gently used stuffed animals to be professionally cleaned (by Cintas) and sent … Read more

Visit raiderrelief.org today!

The Project

Welcome to Project ASAP, brought to you by Raider Relief. We’re putting together the biggest stuffed animal drive ever! Help the University of Mount Union and our awesome supporters in the city of Alliance as we donate our gently used stuffed animals to be professionally cleaned (by Cintas) and sent out to kids who will love them.

When does it start?

We officially begin collecting donations on March 31 and will continue until April 5.

Take the Teddy Pledge!

Click HERE to take the “Teddy Pledge!” Give us your best guess of how many abandoned stuffed animals you’ll collect from home Easter weekend, and we’ll send a text message to remind you before you leave home!

Where to donate?

Feel free to drop off your donations at the University of Mount Union Library (KHIC) or Family Video in Alliance.

What exactly to donate?

Please bring your used, lovable, stuffed animals to donate. We’re looking for the sort of stuffed animal that you used to love playing with, but is ready for another child to love

Want to chat?

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for some Teddy shenanigans! Follow the #ProjectASAP hashtag as well!

A Stroll in Downtown Alliance.

A Stroll in Downtown Alliance.

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I had suspected, for the longest time, that the University of Mount Union has been the center of Alliance. When I first came to Mount Union in January 2011, my first impression of Alliance was that it was a tiny city that revolves around our campus. I’m sure I speak for many of the international students (if not all of them) when I say that we did not know of the existence of downtown Alliance.

A few weeks ago, my housemate (also an international student) asked me to take him downtown so that he could take pictures for a class project. I agreed to do it because I was interested in photography as well. I have been downtown before. The last time I had been there was to get my driving license from the BMV.

I couldn’t help but feel as if I had traveled back in time. The city had old buildings and shops that reminded me of America in the late 60′s, even though I have never really seen 60′s America in real life (no kidding). Recently, I’ve been very interested in old things. A better term to use would be “retro” but you know what I mean. It was a real treat for me, coming from a country with so much history and heritage, to walk around Downtown Alliance and just soaking up the feeling of being in a city that has character.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the modern world, but somehow Downtown Alliance just feels so much nicer than the entire stretch of State Street; there’s character and history within each and every corner or Downtown Alliance.

We are running out of warm days here in Ohio and it is such a shame that many international students here have not seen the Alliance that was before the main focus shifted to State Street. I should really take them there before it snows. Come to think of it, Alliance when it is snowing will also be a good photographic experience.

There is just one thing that creeps me out about Downtown Alliance… where are the people?

Raider Relief Brings You Lemonpalooza!

Raider Relief Brings You Lemonpalooza!

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Raider Relief has been doing “good” within the local and global community since around 2009. In the past, Soles for Souls, Hugs for Haiti, Help to Others, March Makeover and Bottle School Blitz have been great successes, benefiting wonderful non-profit organizations. This year, Raider Relief is partnering with Alliance Ventures, the Regula Center at the University of Mount Union and the United Way of Greater Stark County to bring you Lemonpalooza, a community-wide lemonade sale in Alliance on Oct. 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A cup of lemonade will cost $1. Twelve lemonade stands will be set up in front of various businesses along State St. Volunteers from the University of Mount Union and the community will be running the lemonade stands. United Way’s annual campaign runs until Nov. 29. Eastern Division Campaign Co-Chairs Gerard and Phillip Mastroianni are volunteering their leadership on the United Way Campaign Cabinet, chaired by Thomas Swidarski, to further campaign efforts in the Alliance and surrounding area.

Alliance United Way agencies, including the YMCA, YWCA, SPARK, Interfaith Child Development Center, and the Domestic Violence Shelter, receive more funding from United Way than any other city in Stark County. Unfortunately, Alliance has the smallest number of annual donors to the nonprofit organization. The goal of Lemonpalooza is to raise funds for United Way of Stark County while promoting awareness of their presence in Alliance. The proceeds will be dispersed to United Way agencies throughout Stark County.

For more information please visit raiderrelief.org!

Wilderness Experience

Wilderness Experience

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This picture is of my friend Stephen (Paul) while we were camping. I only brought my phone with me to take pictures and to let my mom know I was OK.

I recently applied and was accepted to go on the Wilderness Experience. I remember reading Zak’s blog about his wilderness experience and it only encouraged me more to apply for it this year.

I’ve only gone hiking/camping once in my life and that was this past summer with my friend in Allegheny Park. We hiked about 20+ miles in two in a half days, but this experience is tiny compared to the one I’ve signed myself up for. This trip is 10 days long and with about 20 other people as well. There also is a portion of the trip where we supposedly go rock climbing, split into 3 smaller groups and spend a day on our own.

After hiking only one time, I loved it. The reality of being completely alone for miles is a feeling I’m not used to since I’ve always been able to spit on my neighbor’s house from my house if I wanted.  Sure, sleeping at night was a little scary, especially when raccoons were stealing my food, but there was no harm done. I like going back in time, without actually going back in time. Oh, the simple days of water, shelter and food.

There’s a New Food Love in Town!

There’s a New Food Love in Town!

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I can tell you that two simple words sum up this entire post: Panera Bread. If you have not heard of Panera Bread then you must not be living in the real world as it is one of the best food places ever. Panera Bread is an obsessive love of mine. The food is delicious times infinity, and it is one of my favorite places to eat! When I first heard the talk that Alliance was getting a Panera Bread, I thought it was crazy-talk. I did not believe it as many rumors had been circulating for months about what new food places were being built in the near future in Alliance. The talk, however, continued for weeks on end with the same story, and I finally realized that it was true. Alliance, Ohio was finally getting a Panera Bread! This was one of the greatest moments of the year! I was ecstatic and could not wait for it to open since one of my favorite places to eat would now just be a few minutes down the road from campus.

Now many months later, the Panera Bread in Alliance has finally opened and is ready for business. I know that I will be a frequent customer for the duration of my time spent here at Mount Union. If you are not sure where it is located it can be found between the recently-opened Chipotle and Giant Eagle on West State Street. If you have not eaten there before, definitely check it out and give it a chance. It is a quick, easy place to grab any meal of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack. There are many different foods on the menu, almost anyone can find something enjoyable that will crave his or her hunger!

Top 10 Random Awesome Things

Top 10 Random Awesome Things

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Watch the video LAST. If you watch it early, it will take away the excitement of knowing why it is #1 on this list.

I’ve decided to make a Top 10. Everyone loves a good Top 10 of anything and if it is awesome, then who wouldn’t want to read it? I’ve recently been excited about a few things lately, things that have or haven’t even happened yet. Basically, just read this list and I hope something on it makes you smile.

10. Back to the Future: Trilogy. Travel back in time with a Delorean? I’ve seen these movies multiple times and I keep finding new things I didn’t realize before. Good job Spielberg. These movies had action, comedy, romance, time travel and even a dog. Back to the Future is awesome.

9. History section of the library. There are very few people in the history section of the library, which means I am able to get my studying, homework and blogs completed. The history section, it’s awesome.

8. Gerard Butler. I realized that I have a man crush on him. He is always the toughest and manliest in movies, and he always wins. He also was the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera and has an amazing voice. I don’t sing well. It doesn’t matter if I sing well, it only matters if girls think I sing well and it is a lot easier to get girls when you have a voice like Gerard Butler. Gerard Butler, he’s awesome.

7. Christmas sweaters. They are only in fashion for about a month and everyone notices when you wear one. They are usually made with love or in China, but they are always warm and people are usually uber jealous of your sweater. Christmas sweaters, they are awesome.

6. People who read my blog. I like attention just like any other person and when people read my blogs and tell me nice job, it’s a good feeling. I like writing, but I never see my audience or hear their applause. The only way I know is if there is a comment or if someone tells me they read it. Readers are awesome.

5. Women that don’t wear make-up. Most men would agree, we prefer a woman without make up and also dyed hair. I don’t mind girls with make up or dyed hair, I just have simple preferences. Women without make-up are awesome.

4. Letters in the mail. I’ve already made a post about this, but simply getting a letter from a friend in the mail makes my day way better. Friends that send me letters are awesome.

3. Anything free. Free t-shirts, free scholarships (money), free food, free massages, free Play-Doh, free socks and free laundry, etc. Free stuff is awesome and usually comes at no cost to you, which is what makes it free. Free stuff is awesome.

2. Peaches. I just love peaches. They are awesome. The Presidents of the United States of America even made a song about peaches titled “Peaches.” Peaches are awesome.

1. This video. I love dancing and it is fun for everyone, no matter what style. These people are insane. They are awesome.

This list isn’t the most awesome thing in the world, but I hope it brought you into my little world for just a few minutes. I like to change things up once in awhile. Next semester will be interesting since I have only one class on Tuesday and for the first time I start class at 9 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. This is awesome.

Halloween Work Out

Halloween Work Out

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www.hawaldwrestling.com
The video is of our work out.  Enjoy =D

Halloween is a time for trick-or-treating, not for wrestling. There is no break in wrestling, but there is time to joke around.  Every year the wrestling team has a Halloween work out. After a long and difficult hell week, we still have time to dress up and have a good time. But in all seriousness, we still got a good work out in too.

The practice consisted of pictures and being judged by the indoor track team. The categories we were judged in were overall best costume and best group costumes.

We then ran around campus and in all the academic buildings to show ourselves to Mount Union’s faculty and staff members to brighten their day. They definitely appreciated seeing everyone in ridiculous costumes. This year’s costumes consisted of Sasquatch, Wayne’s World, White Chicks, The Village People, marching band leader and a sexy female nurse. I was Jacob Black from Twilight, and even our coaches were a bunny and a black cat.

After all the judging and running, we eventually would run our way to Gulling and do a circuit lift. The baseball team was ending their work out in there and they just had to put a smile on their faces. Usually people would say this is just crazy, but everyone gets a good laugh out of it.

If you would like to see more pictures, check out the Purple Raider Wrestling page on Facebook.

What’s the purpose of this?  Our coach likes to have a good time just like any other person, but he takes things seriously too. We are trying to be the best. How can you be the best if you can’t laugh at yourself once in awhile? It’s a perfect balance and it shows that we can still be the best and have a good time.

Making a Difference!

Making a Difference!

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You want to know what the best part of my day was today? I bet you can’t even guess. It’s not the typical way most college students spend part of their day, however, it should be whenever possible. The suspense is probably killing you, so I’m just going to tell you. The best part of my day today occurred in the two and a half hours I spent volunteering at a local church in Alliance for Feed My Sheep. (And, no I am not talking about REAL LIVE sheep).

Feed My Sheep is the Christian ministry of The New Beginnings House of God Church in Alliance. Through the ministry, meals are served to the community of Alliance every Thursday around dinner time. Approximately 30-40 people come to the church each week for dinner, and another 80 meals are delivered to the homes of people unable to travel to the church including the elderly and disabled individuals throughout the community. Anyone from the community is welcome to come each Thursday to receive food. The food for each meal varies from week to week and comes mostly from the Stark County Food Pantry. Today people were served hot dogs, macaroni salad, chips, drinks and dessert. (I served dessert today!) People also are welcome to take bread with them when they leave.

The co-ed service fraternity of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) at Mount Union has members that help each week prepare and serve the meals to the community members. The members of APO also interact with the community members and get to know some of them that come on a regular basis. APO is the organization with which I helped out through. I find this project rewarding in more ways than one. It allows me to interact with people of the community learning about their day and their experiences, gives me the chance to help others and allows me to make even the slightest difference in the lives of others. In my opinion, it is the best way you could spend part of your day!

The Feed My Sheep Ministry has been helping to feed the Alliance community for a little over six years now. It has impacted the lives of many individuals and will continue to do so on a day-to-day basis for many years to come. The ministry is helping to make a difference!

Who’s that New Girl?

Who’s that New Girl?

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Hello everyone! My name is Alyssa Greenwell.  I am so glad that you decided to read my blog as I think that overtime it will provide you with a pretty good picture of what it is like here at the wonderful place called Mount Union.  But first, I think I should tell you a little bit about myself, so you can hopefully come to understand my love for Mount and true pride of being a Purple Raider.

I am from Canton, which is pretty much Alliance’s neighbor as Canton is only about 20 minutes away.  I graduated from GlenOak High School at the top of my class, taking part in varsity volleyball as well as many extracurricular activities.  I have one younger brother who is a senior this year and is currently in the process of making one of the most difficult decisions in the early years of life – where to go to college.  Like him, many of you reading this blog, are facing that choice as well.  I only hope this blog will play a role in your decision.  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, being active, watching movies, reading and volunteering.

Getting involved and helping others has been two major standards in my life.  I enjoy taking part in all sorts of volunteer activities, helping out whenever needed and giving back to the community in any way possible.  I believe that kindness and a helping hand are two of the greatest gifts you can give to another.  I love to know that I am making a difference.

Here at Mount Union, I am currently a sophomore majoring in biochemistry with a minor in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience.  Since stepping foot on campus, I have involved myself in many different clubs and organizations on campus including Delta Sigma Tau sorority, Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity), American Chemical Society, Sophomore Service Honorary, Alpha Lambda Delta, student worker in the Office of the President and I most recently joined the Relay for Life executive committee. I am sure there will be many blogs to come about the organizations I am involved in!

I have met many new people here on campus as well as developed good relationships with faculty and staff members.  In my opinion, Mount Union is the best place to spend your college experience.  I truly love it here, as you will see in my future blogs, so stay tuned for more!  I only hope you will continue to read as I will be writing on a variety of topics which I am sure will catch your interest.

Opportunities to give back

Opportunities to give back

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When I was in high school, I was highly involved in community service.  I was in my school’s Key Club for four years and was the president of the club my senior year.  We rang the bell to raise money for Salvation Army around Christmas time, cooked and served food to those in need at a local soup, held various canned food drives, had a clothes drive for people in the wintertime and so much more.

It’s a little sad to think that since I’ve came to Mount Union, I haven’t volunteered a whole lot in the community.  I have certainly tried to as much as I can but it is just time that always seems to get in my way.  The past few years I have volunteered with WRMU to hand out candy at Trunk-or-Treat.  This is an event where kids from all over Alliance can come to receive candy on Halloween but it’s in the middle of the day so it’s light outside.  This is just safer for kids than going door-to-door in the dark (although I bet a lot of kids do both!).

I have done a few more things here and there but nothing close to what I was doing in high school.  Recently, for a class project, I visited the Alliance Community Pantry.  This pantry serves so many people from the community every single day.  Families can go receive food to make it through their week.  The owner of the pantry said, “This food that our clients receive from us is ‘emergency food.’ It’s not going to be enough for them to survive on but it is enough to get them through.”  This means that if they are having a rough week with money they can go to the pantry to receive food for their family until they get their next paycheck and are able to go to the grocery store themselves.

Volunteers at the pantry help the clients go through and pick up the food.  Clients are only allowed a certain number of food items depending on the size of their family, so the volunteer also keeps track of that.  Next semester, it is my goal to volunteer more and specifically to volunteer at the Community Pantry once a week.

Another volunteer opportunity that I’m excited (and a tiny bit scared) about is giving blood.  I have never given blood in my life but have always wanted to.  Both my mom and dad have given blood for as long as I can remember and I really look up to them for that.  Giving blood is something that takes a half hour to an hour and helps save the lives of so many people across the world.  I’m nervous about giving because it’s my first time but I think a friend of mine who has given blood before and I are going to go together, so hopefully that will make it a little better. :]

If you’re someone who’s really interested in volunteer work, Alpha Phi Omega is the service fraternity on campus.  Although it’s called a fraternity, it is open to both males and females of all class ranks.  These students focus heavily on community service and volunteer work in the community and also have social events to bring the group together.  They seem like a great group of people and that is one thing I’d get involved with if I had more time.

Opportunities for volunteering are plentiful in the city and on campus. You just have to be willing to ask people if you can help.  Most people would love to receive extra help, and it makes me really happy to think that I can at least be making a tiny bit of a difference.

-Shannon