Marian University Students and Faculty Roll Up Their Sleeves to Help 82-Year-Old Longtime Neighbor

by Glendal Jones | May 03, 2022

They scraped, painted, and prepped the home of an elderly woman who couldn’t help herself. It’s an example of responsible stewardship, the Franciscan sponsorship value Marian University’s mission promotes and practices. Modeling that firsthand, students, and faculty from Marian’s social work and engineering programs partnered with NeighborLink, a free home repair non-profit organization dedicated to helping homeowners with home repairs.

“This is something I do every year as it’s really important, Hannah Snyder ’23 said.” “It’s a day of service, so for my birthday weekend, I invite some friends to join me and give back as this is what’s really important. I wanted to help people in the community, and this lady who lost her husband, couldn’t afford and doesn’t have the ability to repair her own home.”

Snyder and other students called it a privilege to help 82-year-old Barbara Bingham. The Indianapolis widow has lived in the neighborhood near Marian for more than 50 years. “Everybody needs help sometimes and everyone has the right to live in their own home,” said Salvador “Sal” Broussard ’25, an engineering major. “We have a responsibility in the community to help those who can’t help themselves.”

NeighborLink is all about helping others in Indianapolis. They’ve been repairing homes since 2013. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the Marian community,” said Lisa Cole, NeighborLink’s director of community and partner engagement. “We’ve completed more than 3,000 repairs and helped 1,100 individuals. We really appreciate the giving spirit the Marian community has continually shown us,” Cole said.

“Our students really have a heart to genuinely help others so I knew asking the engineering department to join us, we’d make a stronger impact,” added Michelle Meer, director of Marian’s social work program.

“It’s really important to give back to the community and help each other out,” said Binh Tran, Ph.D., dean of the E. S. Witchger School of Engineering. “This is just part of the ethos of what Marian University is all about.” Tanja Green, Marian’s engineering professor agreed. “We have to be examples of what’s important and helping others is first and foremost,” she said. “You have to practice what you preach.”

That giving spirit won’t end. The Leighton School of Nursing and the College of Medicine students will also assist with NeighborLink’s housing programs in late summer and early fall.

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