Geneva Students Swipe it Forward

Tiger Pause
Tiger Pause

Geneva College has strengthened its relationship with the city of Beaver Falls. President Calvin L. Troup and others meet regularly with city leaders to work together in ways that are mutually beneficial for the college and the city.

 This spring, Geneva students joined forces to make a difference in the lives of Beaver Falls residents with  the Swipe-It-Forward program.

In the 2017 Spring semester, Swipe-It-Forward provided food to children in downtown Beaver Falls using cafeteria meal swipes donated by Geneva students. The brainchild of Caleb Musselman ’12, a Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) employee at Geneva, the Geneva College Student Government, and Grant Bishop, a sophomore student soccer player, the outreach was a huge success even in its first manifestation, providing 300 meals in the course of two weeks.

Through his community partnership with Tiger Pause Youth Ministry, Musselman said he has been able to “create deep connections with the town and with the community.”

One of his goals is to bridge the gap between Geneva and Beaver Falls in ways that are natural rather than unnatural. Musselman gave an example of this, saying that “instead of just going down and dumping food on people, I actually know who we’re taking the food to and I know the names of the kids we’re taking it to.”

Nate Musselman
Caleb Musselman

Musselman described the process of preparing the meals, explaining how the college provided the products and students helped him bag and box them for delivery. He then took the finished meals down to Tiger Pause and dropped them off.

“We took them specifically to Tiger Pause Youth Ministry downtown because they service about 150 kids a week,” he said. The 300 meals donated during the two weeks of the program met that need.

The current arrangement with the Geneva College Student Government allows one meal donation per student. However, as a part of the donation, the student must be willing to refrain from going to a meal time they would normally attend.

“It’s really more about giving up something,” said Musselman, emphasizing the sacrificial nature of the opportunity.

Even so, Musselman hopes that the program can grow exponentially in the next few years.

“We put the basic process in place this semester…but from there we really needed [the school’s] help,” he said. “At the end of the day, we want to make it be a lot bigger.”

With a goal to deliver at least 500 meals next year, Musselman and Bishop hope to provide food to TRAILS Ministries, the women’s shelter in Beaver, and the Crossroad’s men’s shelter, in addition to giving meals to Tiger Pause.

“We put the Swipe-It-Forward paper out there and people flocked to it,” Musselman said. “People love the idea of using their money that they’ve already paid to give back to the community.”