Last updated: February 20. 2013 1:04AM - 610 Views

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WILKES-BARRE – South Bend would be the next best place for Notre Dame football fans who couldn't make it to Florida for the national championship game tonight.

A group of nine King's College students arrived Sunday on the legendary school's Indiana campus, but they're there to work, not play.

The students are helping out at the Center for the Homeless as part of a six-day public service project affiliated with the Students Engaged in Reflective Volunteer Experience program.

Tammy Fritz, 29, a King's graduate originally from Ringtown, joined them.

Fritz, SERVE trip coordinator, said it's her first time in South Bend.

I think it's a great opportunity to get away from Wilkes-Barre, she said. Students can see what it's like elsewhere, return home and continue their service, she added.

The projects are connected to sites administered by the Congregation of Holy Cross, the religious order affiliated with King's.

Other SERVE trips went to San Antonio, Texas, and Phoenix, Ariz.

Bill Bolan, a Notre Dame graduate and director of the Shoval Center for Community Engagement and Learning at King's, said it's the third time he has gone to Phoenix.

Bolan, another staff member and nine students, will be at Andre House, a drop-in center operated by Holy Cross for the homeless this week. The center serves up to 600 meals a day and provides shower facilities and a place for the homeless to store their belongings for the day.

The King's students run the facility while the staff is on vacation, Bolan said.

They'll be busy working between 13 to 14 hours a day, he said. They'll have some help from people from the Phoenix community who regularly assist at the center.

The football game takes a back seat to the work that has to be done, but once the students finish up they could tune in.

With any luck, we might see the last half hour of the game, Bolan said.

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