Kenneth White '12 and other B4C members work with children in Hanover County's Positive
(photo courtesy of The Herald-Progress)
The Brothers for Change organization received the 2011 Pepper and Stuart Laughon
Commitment to Community Award.
Randolph-Macon College’s Brothers for Change (B4C) organization is on a mission
to help the community.
Founded in 2005 by Leonard Abbott ’06 and Joseph McDuffie ’06,
Brothers for Change has a long record of community service. Each year, B4C members
prepare and present Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas gifts to families in need,
rake leaves for local residents and help winterize area homes.
“I am very proud of how the organization has grown,” says McDuffie. “What started
as a leadership organization that encouraged minority men to be active on campus
and in the community has evolved into an all-inclusive organization that helps those
in need.” Kenneth White ’12 seconds that emotion.
“We are a group of hard-working students who promote leadership, diversity and responsibility
on campus and throughout the larger community,” says White, president of the organization.
“We want to give back to those who have done so much for us.”
One of the most exciting B4C projects involves the Henry Clay Elementary School
in Hanover County. Each week, several B4C members work with children in the school’s
Positive Action Club, a prevention program for children in grades K through 5.
“We work with some wonderful Henry Clay employees and help kids with homework, play
games with them and teach them life skills,” says White.
According to Nora Wheeler, a member of the Hanover County Community Services Board,
the Brothers for Change organization is an integral part of the Positive Action
“If the B4C volunteers were to disappear, we would be in a pickle,” says Wheeler.
“Since they began helping out, our program has really taken off.”
To read more SERVE stories, click here.
B4C’s Thanksgiving Baskets project and Macon a Christmas project provide families
in need with meals and holiday gifts. Brothers for Change members work together
with Hanover Social Services, Hanover Safe Place, the Henry Clay Positive Action
Club and local churches.
“B4C members deliver Thanksgiving food baskets, and we raise money and buy holiday
gifts for the families we help,” says White. “Just before Christmas, we wrap the
gifts and deliver them.”
For R-MC Sociology Professor Reber Dunkel,
the coordinator of Students Engaged in Responsible Volunteer Experiences (SERVE),
B4C is a wonderful example of the enthusiasm and dedication that
student organizations foster.
“Soon after the students formed their new organization, residents began commenting
on the positive impact that Brothers for Change members were making on the Town
of Ashland,” says Dunkel. “B4C was one of the first organizations to sign up for
Macon a Difference Day and they continue to display an amazing esprit de corps as
they carry out a wide array of community service projects.”
Community Day is one of the group’s biggest yearly events. “We open up the doors
to the Brock Center for the entire day and have
kids from the community come in for a free day of games, food and fun,” says White.
“The Brock Center is filled with kids from ages 6-16. We provide fellowship, and
we join them for a meal in Estes Dining Hall. It’s a fantastic event.”
As a testimony to the diversity that B4C promotes, 10 of the group’s members are
female. “Brothers for Change unites the men of Randolph Macon College despite obvious
or perceived differences such as race, socioeconomic background, or sexual orientation,”
says White. “Although we call ourselves ‘Brothers for Change,’ we’re an organization
that is open to any R-MC student. Diversity helps us live up to the true meaning
of our mission statement.”
White says that B4C has taught him how to be an effective leader, a good friend,
and a better man. “I have learned the true meaning of unity and giving back,” he
In April 2011, the Brothers for Change organization received the
Pepper and Stuart Laughon Commitment to Community Award. The award is given
annually to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions
to enrich the lives of others.
In 2010-11, R-MC students collectively amassed almost 8,000 volunteer hours. Nearly
50 students spent an alternative Spring Break in Florida for a combined 950 hours
with Habitat for Humanity and 130 hours for a Haiti Relief project. Students in
R-MC’s Greek organizations
contributed more than 4,500 hours of collective service to the community, collected
550 pounds of canned food, donated 60 inches of hair to Locks of Love, 21 toys to
Toys for Tots and generous funds to various organizations. In addition, money was
raised on campus and donated to the Red Cross & Partners in Health for the Haiti