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30,000 hours of service for Elkhart students

30,000 hours of service for Elkhart students

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Starting now, Elkhart high school students are getting to work. With a goal to rack up 30,000 hours of community service.

"It's not asking a lot, but it's still kind of out there," says Chirag Patel, Elkhart Memorial senior.

It's an initiative that these students have named "Service Project X." And rivals at Elkhart Memorial and Elkhart Central high schools will work together to finish the hours by May.

"Yeah we're rivals, but if you think about it we're one community," says Patel.

The project kicked off Tuesday with a student led press conference and students working at Church Community Services.

"We don't turn down community service hours," says Church Community Services executive director Rod Roberson.

He says they have plenty of work to help students meet their goal.  "This is the kind of relationship we'd like to drive with the community as a whole, but it's excellent when we have young men and women say they really want to set an example for the rest of the community."

It's an example students think is important, which is why a group worked with superintendent Dr. Robert Haworth to get the project started.

"This community has given so much to us, so much to these people back here and this is our way of helping give back and showing how great Elkhart Community Schools really is," says Elkhart Central senior, Matt Eppers.

It comes down to 15,000 hours per high school, which is around eight or nine per student.

"I know students are busy but there's always an opportunity to help out," says Patel.

The requirements are simple, students have to log hours, but it doesn't have to be with an organization.

"It can be going over and raking your neighbors leaves," says Eppers.

They say anything counts, as long as it's helping the community.

"When we get all those up I think we're going to surprise the community with what we can do," says Eppers.

And they hope to start a tradition for all Elkhart Community students.

They have until May 24 to get the total hours and if they're successful, they have a celebration planned. Superintendent Haworth says both high schools will attempt to set a world record for the largest game of Red Rover, where they'll be rivals again.

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