Facilitating service

Students respond to natural disaster in nearby community


For two days in early November, 13 university students volunteered, as part of the Center for Humanitarian Engagement’s (CHE) Care Weekend program, to help the city of nearby Wallowa recover after a hailstorm.

Liberty Anderson, a sophomore business marketing major and the Care Weekend coordinator, orchestrated the students’ involvement in the recovery project. About a month ago a hail storm hit Wallowa, a city about 2 hours from the university. According to Anderson, the hail had torn into peoples homes leaving broken windows and large dents in metal buildings and cars.

Anderson explained CHE’s Care Weekend consisted of organizing a community social on Saturday, playing games, making food, and setting up booths to help community members recover. Sunday morning they went and helped the community by insulating, covering windows, and picking up glass from the destruction of the storm.

Allison Simmons, a senior biology major and premed student, said of the project, “As a college student, I felt this was my service to pay tithe in my time and ability. God gives us the abilities and I wanted to use what he gave me to help others.” 

CHE hopes to return and replace the insulation and waterproofing they did that weekend with permanent windows. 

Anderson was quick to mention the key role United Way of the Blue Mountains played in the planning process by determining which residents needed help after the storm. “CHE could not have done the work they did without the preliminary work of United Way,” says Anderson. CHE and United Way both strive to create connections through service within their communities. 

CHE focuses on connecting students with service opportunities such as service days and Care Weekends. Care Weekends occur every Saturday and provide a weekly service opportunity for students to practice being the hands and feet of Jesus.

To learn more about the service projects CHE organizes, visit wallawalla.edu/CHE

Posted Dec. 19, 2022.

Walla Walla University students in Wallowa
University students preparing food