Ouachita Baptist University’s annual Spring Tiger Serve Day, hosted by the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community, will be held Saturday, April 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. The day’s events will start at the Elrod Center with breakfast for volunteers hosted by Sodexo and conclude back at the Elrod Center with lunch, provided by Southern Bancorp.
With this being the 14th consecutive year of Tiger Serve Day as a community outreach, the need for student volunteers is growing along with the event.
“The Fall Tiger Serve Day surpassed all of our expectations with 920 volunteers and 81 teams participating,” said Judy Duvall, assistant director of the Elrod Center. “This was over 60 percent of our student body that served the community on that day.”
Ouachita students, faculty and staff make up the Tiger Serve Day teams and complete projects ranging from painting and exterior touch-ups to mowing and yard work for families and organizations throughout the area.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our campus to put our faith into action and to imitate Christ by serving,” Duvall said. “The volunteers are encouraged to form relationships with the people they serve. The relationships established on this day are as important as the work that is done.
“The students get to come together with their fellow classmates and faculty/staff at OBU to work for the common good,” Duvall added. “Students can sign up individually, and they will be placed on a team with a team leader, or they can sign up as a team. This is a wonderful way for students to get to know their fellow classmates.”
“Tiger Serve Day is designed as a mass introduction to community service,” said Ian Cosh, Ouachita’s vice president for community and international engagement. “It is also intended to provide momentum for service throughout the year. Our hope is that students will become passionate about service and discover the joy of serving others.
“Tiger Serve Day has changed the culture at Ouachita over the years and has become an iconic event on campus,” Cosh added. “The large numbers of students, faculty and staff who turn out each year is evidence of the power of the event to change lives and inspire service.”
Tiger Serve Day is coordinated by the Elrod Center staff and a team of student leaders who recruit students, plan publicity, visit and document the work that will be done at project sites, buy supplies and provide energy and support for fellow volunteers the day of the event.
“I love helping with Tiger Serve Day because of the joy that you can see come out of the students helping,” said leadership team member Rebekah Poynor, a sophomore art and secondary education major from Aubrey, Texas. “With the privilege of being a leader I get to experience the change in the community more close at hand.”
In addition to Poynor, students on the Tiger Serve Day leadership team are: Glenn Bolton, a junior church media/production arts major from Hensley, Ark.; Reuben Cash, a senior accounting major from Springfield, Tenn.; Leanne Cushman, a senior Christian ministry and missions major from Springdale, Ark.; Jake Edwards, a sophomore business administration and finance major from Little Rock, Ark.; Drew Harper, a senior biology major from Sherwood, Ark.; Leigha Hill, a senior communication sciences and disorders major from Bolivar, Mo.; Lauren Jackson, a sophomore biology major from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Greta James, a senior studio art major from Little Rock, Ark.; Ryan James, a sophomore pre-nursing major from Benton, Ark.; Abbey Jamieson, a sophomore Christian missions and mass communications major from Sachse, Ark.; Caleb Knight, a sophomore Christian theology and Biblical studies major from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Emily Morgan, a senior accounting major from Mountain Home, Ark.; Mark Morrison, a senior Christian theology and Biblical studies major from Plano, Texas; Katelyn Mustain, a junior dietetics and nutrition major from Lewisville, Texas; Nate Peace, a junior Christian ministry, Biblical languages and mass communications major from Bedford, Texas; Dawson Prichard, a freshman kinesiology and fitness major from Denton, Texas; Jessica Stewart, a freshman church media/production arts major from Mansfield, Texas; Wendy Vick, a junior biology major from Conway, Ark.; Garet West, a sophomore mass communications major from Bolivar, Mo.; and Rachel Williams, a freshman business administration major from Sherwood, Ark.
By Breanne Goodrum