Ouachita Baptist University’s annual fall Tiger Serve Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Hosted by the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community, Tiger Serve Day is in its 15th consecutive year of facilitating student, faculty and staff service throughout the community of Arkadelphia.
The Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team has set a goal for a record attendance of 1,000 volunteers for the upcoming day of service. “With more volunteers, more people will be served,” explained Judy Duvall, assistant director of the Elrod Center. “Each semester we have approximately 100 projects. Many of these projects will be at the homes of senior adults and individuals with special needs. Volunteers also work at area non-profits.”
“Tiger Serve Day is a signature event on campus that highlights the importance of service as a value we hold dear,” added Ian Cosh, Ouachita’s vice president for community and international engagement. “Our goal has always been to serve our community in a significant way and to create positive momentum for our entire menu of service opportunities. To give back to the community in a tangible way reinforces our values system and demonstrates that we have made serious commitment to being a good neighbor to our community, city and county.”
“Because service is very much part of the culture at Ouachita, Tiger Serve Day is an event that volunteers look forward to and gain much satisfaction from,” Duvall said. “You would be hard-pressed to find another university that has more than 60 percent of their enrollment show up early on a Saturday morning to go out and make a difference in their community.
“Certainly the teams will be meeting very practical needs doing yard work and all kinds of clean-up work,” Duvall added. “The teams will also be establishing relationships with individuals in this community and caring about them. We think these relationships established are just as important as the work that is done. The volunteers are encouraged to continue those relationships if possible after Tiger Serve Day.
“One of the great benefits of this day to the community is the cost savings,” Duvall noted. “If you figured the cost of labor at $10 an hour with 1,000 volunteers serving for three hours, the savings to this community comes out to approximately $30,000. For many senior adults living on a fixed income, this is a huge blessing. Much of the work would simply not be done without the help of these volunteers.”
Tiger Serve Day is coordinated by the Elrod Center staff and a team of student leaders who recruit students, plan publicity, visit project sites, document the work that will be done, buy supplies and provide energy and support for fellow volunteers the day of the event.
“This event plays an important role in student leadership development on campus,” Cosh said. “We believe that the experience of finding joy and satisfaction in service will prepare our students well to serve as future community leaders.”
“The Student Leadership Team does an excellent job of organizing and planning the day,” Duvall added. “They do the publicity, visit all of the projects, buy tools, recruit volunteers and execute the huge event. They are an incredible group of leaders who enjoy serving.”
Members of the Leadership Team are: Daniel Aylett, a junior mass communications major from Nashville, Ark.; Glenn Bolton, a senior mass communications major from Hensley, Ark.; Reuben Cash, a senior accounting major from Nashville, Ark.; Jake Edwards, a junior business administration and finance major from North Little Rock, Ark.; Leigha Hill, a senior communication sciences and disorders major from Bolivar, Mo.; Jasper Jackson, a sophomore computer science major from Luxora, Ark.; Lauren Jackson, a junior biology major from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Ryan James, a junior biology major from Benton, Ark.; Abbey Jamieson, a junior Christian missions and mass communications major from Sachse, Ark.; Caleb Knight, a junior Christian theology and Biblical studies major from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Emily Morgan, a senior accounting major from Mountain Home, Ark.; Katelyn Mustain, a senior dietetics and nutrition major from Lewisville, Texas; Nate Peace, a senior Christian ministry, Biblical languages and mass communications major from Bedford, Texas; Rebekah Poynor, a junior art and secondary education major from Aubrey, Texas; Dawson Pritchard, a sophomore kinesiology and fitness major from Denton, Texas; Jessica Stewart, a sophomore church media/production arts major from Mansfield, Texas; Wendy Vick, a senior biology major from Conway, Ark.; Garet West, a sophomore mass communications major from Bolivar, Mo.; and Rachel Williams, a sophomore accounting major from Sherwood, Ark.
By Nicci Fillinger