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C of I community helps ‘Rake Up Caldwell’

The College of Idaho has always had a strong relationship with Caldwell. Service is a particularly important component of the College’s ties to the local community, and the campus capitalized on a big opportunity to serve Nov. 23 as Campus Ministries held its annual Rake Up Caldwell event.

“We are surrounded by a fantastic community that supports us to further our education and reach our goals” said C of I junior and Rake Up Caldwell supervisor Jocelyn Allen. “I think it is so key that we as students are given opportunities to give back to the community we live in.”

During Rake Up Caldwell, C of I students and staff formed teams and cleared leaves from the yards of houses throughout Caldwell. The group raked for C of I alumni, former professors and current staff, faculty and trustees as well as performing random acts of kindness for community members.

“When students saw a yard that looked like it could use our help, we raked it,” said Cindi Duft, event coordinator for Campus Ministries.

Rake Up Caldwell enjoyed a fantastic turnout this year, with about 130 students – more than 10 percent of the student body – joining in. Allen estimated that participation doubled from last year’s event, and the group had so many volunteers that it was at times difficult to find enough yards to rake.

While the C of I volunteers touched many hearts throughout the day, Duft noted one such instance when the group saw an elderly woman having a hard time raking her own yard. She was so grateful when the students offered to help her that she nearly cried.

“This is such an easy thing for young people to do, and it means so much to the people who can’t do it,” Duft said.

After raking, participating students and staff enjoyed dinner at the nearby Boone Presbyterian Church. As students reflected on the day, they came to recognize how much the Caldwell community provides for them and were happy to continue the long-standing C of I tradition of giving back to the community – and having fun while doing it.

“A lot of times we do not realize how much the Caldwell community gives back to us as students, and I think any chance to work for or alongside our community is a privilege,” Allen said. “I definitely saw more relationships being established between The College of Idaho and the community of Caldwell through the students who participated in Rake Up Caldwell.”

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit