GIVE back, GO forward program allows senior citizens to help Ohio State University students with college credit hours

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A new partnership between The Ohio State University and several non-profit organizations could mean free college credits for prospective students.

If you are over 60 years old and volunteer more than 100 hours a year, you can donate three free undergraduate credit hours to someone of your choosing.

Volunteering at three non-profits — the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, St. Stephens Community House or the Columbus Metropolitan Library — can earn you more than $1,100 worth of credit hours at OSU.

“That is what this is all about, how to engage the wonderful talent in this community and encourage them to get involved,” said Matt Habash, CEO at the MidOhio Food Bank.

Jane Freeman and Phyllis Whitfield both volunteer at St. Stephen’s Community House and work in the food pantry.

“I do not know if I would use it myself per say, but I definitely would use it for one of my great-grandkids,” said Freeman.

Whitfield said she volunteers at St. Stephen’s and a senior center almost every day.

“Some of the people who come through they act so grateful, so it is like I am contributing something,” said Whitfield.

The program is called ‘GIVE back, GO forward,’ which promotes community service by encouraging seniors to help out where there is a need, at the same time donating a foot-up to a young person towards higher ed.

Alison Circle with the Columbus Metropolitan Library said they offer programs for all ages, and volunteers have donated more than 11,000 hours over the last year.

“This is another program to connect the cradle to grave, the entire span the library is able to provide for in this community,” Circle said.

Ohio State’s pilot program will enroll up to 100 Franklin County residents. Credits can be held up to five years, but 100 service hours need completed within a year

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