From weeding to washing windows, and from planting trees to picking up trash, twice a year Walla Walla University (WWU) breaks from the typical class routine to participate in Service Day. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff gather on campus and sign up for projects, then fan out into the community and connect with helping hands.
This is just one example of a spirit of service that shines from the university year-round. Department clubs, campus ministries, student association groups and the University Church, among others, organize outreach opportunities. And often, random acts of kindness happen quietly, behind the scenes.
Here are just a few of the places WWU students are connecting with the community:
Area schools — tutoring and mentoring students, and raising money for reams of paper and other supplies;
Native American Mission — doing worship programs for the children;
Farm Labor Camp — giving toys to needy children and offering Sabbath-afternoon programs for the children;
Nursing homes — singing and visiting with residents;
Downtown Walla Walla — handing out free hot chocolate, giving compliments, doing face painting and singing worship songs;
Hospitals and the needy — knitting and crocheting hats and scarves;
Portland, Oregon — handing out blankets and toiletries that have been collected by students, faculty and staff to the homeless.
LEARNING FOR LIFE
"Community service rounds out a person's education," says Ginger Ketting-Weller, WWU vice president for academic administration. "Every service activity that brings our students in contact with the needs of the world reveals to them a little more of what it means to see humanity with the mind and heart of Christ."