GOSHEN -

Goshen College students took a break from the books Wednesday to help their community.

It's part of the school's annual Service Day.

Nearly 40 freshmen spent the day doing a variety of jobs on a two-story home that LaCasa is getting back in shape.

That included scraping away old paint, taking down old aluminum siding and getting the house ready for painting.

"They come here wanting to serve, and that's going to help us out, because we've lost a lot of jobs here, and a beautiful house to save," said LaCasa's Kate Irelan. "This is a great benefit to LaCasa to have 40 some students come out."

"Not only do we want students who graduate from Goshen College and are able to contribute through their professions, but also to see their role contributing to the world in a broader sense," added GC Associate Dean of Students Launa Rohrer.

Students taking part in the program say it helps them think outside the box when it comes to working for the greater good of the community around them and helps set a precedent after graduation.

"I am really excited to be here and help out with this project, because I enjoy doing that kind of thing, and once I graduate, I want to be able to do more of that kind of thing, just helping people," said freshman Timothy Keiderling.

"When you are in college, it's very easy to get caught up and only stay inside the college," noted student De'Andre Hannsberry. "But when you come out and you go into the community and you help people, it helps open up your world."

"I didn't grow up here, but I consider this my new home, so I really wanted to help the community in different ways," freshman Brianne Brenneman said.

It's an experience that will hopefully lead to a lifetime of service and giving.