Serving others

WWU invests in community during Fall Service Day

Walla Walla University’s Center for Humanitarian Engagement coordinates an annual community service day where students and staff take a whole morning to participate in various projects. On Wednesday, Oct. 20, more than 600 people volunteered and helped out in 45 different service projects including volunteering at the humane society, mural upkeep, packing food for underprivileged school kids, a wheelchair ramp revamp, and creating Christmas decorations for a nursing home. 

Weston Humphries, sophomore business major, attended a service project where students cleaned up an elderly woman’s yard. Their project included setting a path of pavers, painting a shed, and cleaning up bushes. Humphries’ said, “My favorite part of the day was putting in the pavers because I have experience with masonry and I enjoyed getting to use my skills to help someone else for Jesus.” 

Joelle Townsend, sophomore social work major with an English minor, participated in a service project that was open only to English majors and minors and entailed volunteering at the public library. While there, students sanitized toys, organized books, and moved bookshelves. Townsend said, “I loved the chance to get back in the community of being in a library.”

Some students volunteered to lead out in service projects. Samantha Hodges, freshman business major, led out in a service project where students cleaned up the corn fields behind Walla Walla Valley Academy. Hodges explained that they were able to complete in one morning what it would have taken one person at least two weeks to do. Because of this she said that “even though it was a lot of hard physical labor, it was very rewarding.” 

One of WWU’s values is “generosity in service,” and although this is only the second service day that the CHE has coordinated, WWU has been having service days for 27 years. The CHE hopes to have another service day winter quarter, and is exploring the idea of partnering with Whitman College and Walla Walla Community College for a tri-college service day before Earth Day in the spring. 

Posted on Nov. 1, 2021.

Students stand in a line under a banner that reads "Welcome to Service Day!"
Students got up early to eat breakfast as a group before the morning of community service. Photo by Samuel Piner.
Students rake leaves into a tractor bucket.
What would have taken one person two weeks, a group of WWU students finished in one morning. Photo by Samantha Hodges.