More than 700 Walla Walla University students, faculty, and staff participated in the 27th annual WWU Service Day on Oct. 16.
The event was organized by the WWU Center for Humanitarian Engagement to encourage students to connect with the community through a variety of service projects.
“It’s about more than raking leaves, it’s about sharing and discovering Christ through service,” said David Lopez, executive director of the CHE. “The Center for Humanitarian Engagement is bigger than just a day, in fact, we’re committed to coaching and mentoring students into service for the rest of the year and into a lifetime of service beyond that.”
Local businesses and organizations connected with WWU to offer service opportunities for this event. Out of the 37 projects offered, 14 were from organizations that had formed new relationships with the CHE during the past year.
Projects included apple picking in Milton-Freewater, baking apple crisp for first responders, helping with cleanup and event planning at the Blue Mountain Humane Society, horse grooming, organizing thrift store inventory at Yeehaw Aloha, and various outdoor landscaping projects. In many cases, academic departments organized students by major to work together on specific projects.
For one project students received $100 in cash to spend in ways that would benefit the community, such as buying bus tickets for people or paying for their groceries.
“I thought it was a unique opportunity to do something different instead of gardening or manual labor,” said Savion Grazette, junior business administration major.
Susan Willard, a WWU freshman mentor, helped with the Change the Day $100 project by providing transportation for students to find needs in the community where they could utilize their funds. “I am impressed with how quickly they all got down to business,” said Willard.
Lopez emphasizes that Service Day was created to share what God has given us with others. “It was created 27 years ago with the idea of celebrating what God had done by blessing WWU with 100 years of blessings. It has since become a date that the community looks forward to and counts on,” said Lopez.
To learn more about the CHE and their work at WWU, visit wallawalla.edu/che.
Posted Oct. 28, 2019