A total of 50 volunteer teams from Ouachita Baptist University assembled April 4 to conduct 78 service projects throughout Arkadelphia as part of OBU’s semi-annual Tiger Serve Day.
Approximately 600 students, staff and faculty members gave their time to help others in need. The service event is coordinated by OBU’s Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community.
Teams ranged from football and soccer players to students just seeking to lend a hand, with service projects including yard work, painting, washing windows and cars and repairing roof tiles.
Members of the football team painted houses in Griffithtown. They found an appreciation for the people of the community who, in turn, expressed their gratitude for the service projects.
“The thing that made it the most worthwhile was the people,” said Eli Cranor, a junior political science major from Russellville, Ark., and a member of the football team. “They were super nice and sometimes I felt like they were serving us. At the end of the day, our lady had cooked everybody hamburgers and hotdogs. She had the meal all planned out, and I think she worked just as hard on it as we did the houses. All in all, it was a great experience, and anyone who does it once will never want to miss it again.”
The soccer team had so many volunteers that they divided into two teams to aid in an additional project of paint scraping the home of an elderly woman.
“We had a great turnout by both the guys and girls soccer teams,” said Jarod Townsend, a junior speech communication major from Broken Arrow, Okla., and a member of the men’s soccer team. “There was a lot to do so we were able to spread ourselves around and get all the different needs met. The group as a whole accomplished planting flower beds and mulching, cleaning out gutters, installing a faucet extension, power washing the deck, as well as fixing some tiles on the roof. It was encouraging to see so many of the soccer players come out and work together to serve the community and represent the university in other ways aside from being on the playing field. It was also good to see the team’s willingness to take on a second project rather than just sit around taking turns scraping.”
Other groups also picked up additional projects as the day progressed.
“My team consisted of about eight girls,” said Megan Fida, a junior mass communications major from Allen, Texas. “We were assigned to two women to do yard work, paint and wash cars. While we were all working on our tasks we had two other women approach us to help out with other projects around the area including painting a church and furniture. Our entire group was at four different places serving all in the same neighborhood. It was an amazing time that the Lord blessed us with.”
By Emory Jacobs