Highlighting the theme, “Simply Serve,” more than 820 volunteers completed 105 projects during Ouachita Baptist University’s fall Tiger Serve Day held Saturday, Sept. 21.
The semi-annual community work project is one of the largest community service efforts held throughout the state of Arkansas. It involves Ouachita students, faculty and staff conducting a variety of projects for the benefit of senior adults and others throughout the Arkadelphia area. Projects range from raking leaves and mowing to washing windows and painting.
“The majority of work was done at senior adult residences, including outdoor and indoor work,” said Judy Duvall, assistant director of Ouachita’s Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community. “This is a huge cost savings to these residents and is also a great help to them as many are not able to do the work themselves. Volunteers also served at homes of disabled individuals and nonprofits such as Lucas Gardens and the Human Development Center.”
Tiger Serve Day, which is sponsored by the Elrod Center, is planned and organized by a student-led Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team. Student members of the leadership team include Bridget Bloxom, Jeremy Cooper, Jeremy Dixon, Drew Farris, Rachel Gilmer, Katie Hopmann, Jasper Jackson, Ben Lange-Smith, Coleson Lechner, Craig Martin, Reagan Parsons, Griffin Peeples, Dawson Pritchard, Buck Schroeder, Treslyn Shipley, Anna Sikes, Emily Speer, Jessica Stewart, Sara Walker, Garet West, Rachel Wicker, David Willhite, Rachel Williams and David Winkler.
The Saturday effort included a total of 826 volunteers on 96 teams conducting 105 projects. Since Tiger Serve Day’s inception in 1997, participants have completed a total of 63,658 volunteer work hours.
In addition to the work of the volunteers, behind-the-scenes support included Sodexo which provided breakfast for the volunteers, Summit Bank provided lunch and the Elrod Family Foundation funded T-shirts and work supplies.
“The goal of Tiger Serve Day is twofold — to provide practical help to the community and establish relationships,” Duvall explained. “The volunteers are encouraged to continue the relationships they formed with community residents long after the event. Many teams will return during the semester to the people they served on Tiger Serve Day to offer additional assistance as needed.”
“Tiger Serve Day is all about connecting with people in the community and showing them Jesus,” said leadership team member Jessica Stewart, a senior Christian media/communications and mass communications major from Mansfield, Texas. “It’s not just about raking leaves.”
For more information about Tiger Serve Day or the work of the Elrod Center, visit www.obu.edu/elrod or call (870) 245-5320.
By Trennis Henderson, OBU vice president for communications