Christmas in April and Habitat for Humanity
Favorite thing: Christmas in April - - Each spring the community churches (most, not all) get together and fix up homes of individuals who can't afford to do repairs. Usual this includes insulation, cauking windows, door replacement. It has also included repairs of stairways, painting inside or outside and other major chores.
Habitat for Humanity - - Usually in the summer, the local Habitat for Humanity looks to build a house for a family. As with all their projects, the community is involved and the family who will receive the house is heavily involved. In 2006 and 2007, they built two houses next to each other in the north part of town. In 2008 and 2009, houses were built , but I don't know where they were in the area.
The Times (the local rag, i.e., newspaper)
Favorite thing: A hundred years ago, it started out as The Messenger and The Vidette. Then less than 50 years ago, it became The Vidette-Messenger. Around 1998, The Times of Hammond, Indiana, bought the V-M and it became The Times, Porter County Edition.
Whatever you want to call it, it's been the local paper for a long time. Many of the smaller towns have a weekly or a shopper, but The Times has remained the primary paper.
Child Abuse Awareness
Favorite thing: The local Chapters of the Child Abuse Prevention Council is very active. Each April, during Child Abuse Awareness Month there are exhibits around town. During the rest of the year, they sponsor parenting programs and counseling activities to help parents prevent abuse and to learn more about what they to do to help themselves and others.
Favorite thing: About every 2 months there is an American Red Cross Blood drive somewhere in town. Locations have come to sponsor the drives on a rotating basis. Each location will host a drive every 3-4 months, which is the minimum time between donations by a single person. Other locations provide space for emergency drives when there has been a major disaster somewhere in the world or other disaster. There is never a shortage of donor in Valparaiso.
Relay for Life
Favorite thing: Annually in late spring, the local chapter of the American Cancer Society holds the "Relay for Life". This is an team event to keep walkers or runners on the track for the entire 12-20 hours of the event. Teams raise funds from sponsors, which goes towards research for a cure. Survivors of cancer and those lost to cancer are remembered throughout the night.
Fondest memory: Participating with a team of a dozen high school kids. Nobody wanted to sleep, but as the night wore on to the early hours of the morning 3 am to 6 am, it was hard to keep them going. They cheered each other on until the sun came up.
- Study Abroad
- Hiking and Walking
Favorite thing: There are many churches in Valparaiso and many of them have special Sunday or weekend programs. They can vary from a performance by a 'Christian Musician' to a production of 'Godspell'.
- Religious Travel
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