Otterbein holds Kindness Think Tank, Hunger Heroes 5K and Harvest Festival for Make a Difference Day Oct. 28Otterbein holds Kindness Think Tank, Hunger Heroes 5K and Harvest Festival for Make a Difference Day Oct. 28

Otterbein University will host three events to celebrate national Make a Difference Day, as well as its new Kindness Matters initiative. Otterbein is proud to partner with Kind Columbus at The Columbus Foundation in its effort to cultivate and inspire kindness throughout the greater Columbus region.

The three events — the Kindness Think Tank, Hunger Heroes 5K and Fall Harvest Festival — all benefit the Westerville community. Westerville Mayor Kathy Cocuzzi, who will participate in Otterbein’s Kindness Think Tank, proclaimed October “Neighbor 2 Neighbor Month.”


Otterbein Hosts Kindness Think Tank

Otterbein’s one-day, pop-up Kindness Think Tank is an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together to discuss topics of kindess in our communities. The Kindness Think Tank will be held from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., at The Point at Otterbein, 60 Collegeview Road.

Everyone can contribute to this conversation: Westerville and Otterbein community members; high school and college students; members of the area’s faith community; business leaders, owners and their employees; and more.

This one-day effort will allow the greater community to begin a conversation about kindness in our day to day living. General kinds of topics for discussion include:

  • Can kindness change our communities and our institutions?
  • Can we inspire and cultivate kindness as habit?
  • Does it matter if we’re kinder?
  • Participants will consider ideas and suggestions for ways to can cultivate or inspire kindness in schools and college campuses, work, communities and neighborhoods.

The day will open with a TED-style talk. Participants will be invited to move into themed rooms that their interests align with (schools. campus, work, etc.), where they’ll do some ideation. Lunch will be served in each room to maximize the team’s plans and ideas. The group will come back together for presentations about the ideas that the groups were most excited about. The event will close with another TED-style presentation to articulate the value of what they’ve done.

All participants will receive a small gift.

Register to participate online at


Hunger Heroes 5K

Join first-year Otterbein students and Heritage Middle School 6th grade students at the Hunger Heroes 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run beginning at 8:30 a.m., at Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Road. This event helps to bring awareness and support to children in the Westerville area who suffer from food insecurity. All proceeds from the race will benefit Share Bac A Pac and the Otterbein University Promise House. Share Bac A Pac focuses on creating small lunches filled with healthy and filling meals for children over the weekends when they may not have access to access to food.

Heritage Middle School students from Westerville have been an active part in the organizing and promotion of this year’s Hunger Heroes 5K. Heritage students have come into Professor Patti Wilson’s First Year Seminar class several times this semester, working alongside Otterbein students to create public relations materials such as fliers, maps of the race course, web content and social media posts.

Currently, over 130 meals are being provided weekly by Share Bac A Pac as part of Westerville Area Resource Ministry. Promise House is a student-run organization that strives to “alleviate the challenges associated with food insecurity so that students can remain in school and earn their degrees.”

Register online before Oct. 21 .


Fall Harvest Festival

The Otterbein University Center for Community Engagement invites the community to its annual Fall Harvest Festival from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., at the Otterbein Community Garden, 390 N. Spring Rd. The event is free and open to the public with parking available at Heritage Middle School.

This family-friendly event will have activities and treats for all ages, including carnival games, fall crafts, a farmers market, apple cider and donuts, educational stations and service projects. Otterbein’s Community Garden is divided into plots that are cultivated by a variety of community groups, including schools, neighborhood associations, veteran’s groups, senior citizen living communities, Otterbein departments, and Otterbein student groups. A portion of the produce is donated to local food pantries to feed members of our community.