Saturday, April 5, Ouachita Baptist University students, faculty and staff will conduct volunteer service projects throughout the Arkadelphia community as part of Tiger Serve Day. The semi-annual community service event is hosted by Ouachita’s Ben. M Elrod Center for Family and Community and is an opportunity for Ouachita students to be difference makers in the local community.
“Many of the people and non-profits that we help on Tiger Serve Day are not able to do the work themselves,” explained Judy Duvall, assistant director of the Elrod Center. “It’s a huge cost savings and help to these people and a beautiful way to act out our faith in very practical and relational ways.”
“The success of Tiger Serve Day over the last 17 years has been driven by two powerful forces,” added Ian Cosh, Ouachita’s vice president for community and engagement and director of the Elrod Center. “One is the ongoing desire of college students to serve the community in meaningful ways, and the other is the affirmation by those served regarding the effectiveness of the service offered.”
Volunteers will gather at the Elrod Center at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning for a catered breakfast from Sodexo. Volunteers also will receive their service project assignments and tools before spending the morning around Arkadelphia performing a variety of community service projects such as leaf raking, window washing and small repair jobs. Volunteers are then invited back to the Elrod Center after completing their project for lunch provided by Southern Bancorp.
Reagan Parsons, a sophomore biology major from Arkadelphia, Ark., is among more than 25 students who serve on the Tiger Serve Day leadership team. Sharing how Tiger Serve Day has had an impact on her as an Arkadelphia resident and Ouachita student, she said, “Growing up in Arkadelphia, I have seen firsthand the need for Jesus in the community. There are huge physical and spiritual needs here that would not be met if it weren’t for Tiger Serve Day.”
Tiger Serve Day began in the spring of 1997 following a devastating tornado that hit Arkadelphia. More than 900 volunteers were part of the first Tiger Serve Day. Since then, Ouachita faculty, staff and students have given more than 63,000 hours of community service on Tiger Serve Days, including more than 800 volunteers who served last fall on 96 Tiger Serve Day teams.
To sign up for Tiger Serve Day or for more information visit www.obu.edu/serve or call the Elrod Center at (870) 245-5320.
By Jessica Stewart