Bridgette Wells, Prof. Alison Pettit
In the fall of 2010 Liberty Prof. Alison Pettit was asked to go pick up a student from Liberty to assist her church, Timberlake United Methodist Church (TUMC), with a Rebuilding Together roofing and painting project in which they were currently engaged. Mrs. Pettit had no idea that she was about to meet one of her greatest workers ever; Bridgette Wells.
Bridgette, a Junior Psych Major with a minor in Women's Ministries, came on site that day and this led to a semester of service second to none. Quickly, Bridgette fulfilled her required hours, and then, unlike many previous students, according to Pettit, instead of saying good bye, she asked if there was more to do. Bridgette ended up logging over eighty hours of volunteer service assisting TUMC with its missional efforts by helping out with the Salvation Army; both ringing the Christmas bell and working at the Thrift Store and helping out significantly with children’s church and more. Also, unbeknownst to Pettit, Bridgette was volunteering at Heritage Green Assisted Living by coordinating games and activities with Alzheimer’s residents, and co-leading a women’s ministry small group at Thomas Road Baptist Church.
One of the most significant acts of service came when Bridgette was introduced to an elderly and disabled woman who could not take care of her own property. Bridgette not only helped out as much as she could, but, upon realizing that there was more to do than she could by herself, recruited friends and dorm mates to do it as well. They did routine house cleaning and yard work to be a blessing to this needy woman. What really impressed Pettit was one day she happened to meet Bridgette at Wal-Mart when she was taking the same lady shopping for groceries. It was then that Pettit realized, “She is different, she has got a true servant’s heart and it was sincere.” She knew that Bridgette was moved to serve and serve some more, not looking for anything in return, or ever complaining about it. This, along with the aforementioned things, is what led Pettit to nominate Bridgette for the Award. This also demonstrates Bridgette's love for the elderly and her desire to serve them in her future as a geriatric counselor.
Bridgette said, upon hearing about it in GNED class, that she “admired the [CSER] program.” She never balked at the twenty hour requirement, and was actually surprised that other colleges don’t have such requirements, and that Liberty does not require more! Her commitment to service is rooted in her faith. In her perspective, “Jesus calls us to serve because he served. If I say that I’m a Christian, then I am supposed to be like Christ and I’m supposed to serve. Whether it’s someone who needs a lot or someone who needs a little we’re called to reach out to them in love to show just a little bit of what Christ’s love is like. We have so many blessings that we can give back to others.” She sees herself as having been blessed with so many resources that she is compelled to help those less fortunate. “It’s good to get involved, especially in the community because it’s so easy to stay at Liberty in the Liberty bubble with Liberty people instead of reaching out to the community which we’re essentially called to do.”
Advice that Bridgette would give her peers regarding their CSER is to "Pick something that you like to do and do it joyfully, not grudgingly, and after you’re done, serve more.” Bridgette, as we have seen, does not just say "serve more" but models this principle as well.
Dr. Lew Weider, Director of Liberty's CSER program, stated, "What we see here in this wonderful servant of Christ is a person who exemplifies the command of Christ to be 'salt and light' and epitomizes the goal of the CSER program. She has been a model leader, citizen and servant . . . the kind of Champion for Christ we hope will leave this university and commit themselves to a lifetime of service no matter what profession they pursue."
Dr. Weider, Bridgette Wells, Prof. Pettit
Mrs. Pettit claims to have many “connections” throughout the city of Lynchburg through the TUMC and invites any students who think there is nothing available for them to do to contact her. She is certain she can find some area of service that they will enjoy based on their skills, talents and interests. Contact Prof. Pettit
Our hats are off to you, Bridgette, and, like Mrs. Pettit indicated, we wish we had so many more of you who are selflessly serving in the name of Christ to share your blessings with others who need desperately to see His light and love. Congratulate Bridgette on her achievement
It just so happens, that at Liberty, we do have many such students. Along with Bridgette Wells, Kayla Hansen (English Language Institute at LU) and Louis Pizichillo (Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation) were in the top three nominations for the Volunteer of the Year Award. The following is a list of all of the nominees for this year’s award.
Abby Smith (Liberty Interior Design Society)
Andrew George (Liberty Chestnut Mountain Ranch Team)
Brittany Assanah (Tree of Life Ministries)
Brittany Thomas (Generations for Truth)
Christina Bryant (Hatcher Center)
Courtney Cowley (Hillcrest Baptist Church)
Elizabeth McQuigg (Rocks Baptist Church)
Frances Burton (Students Behind Our Soldiers)
Jamie Gephart (Heritage Baptist Church)
Jennifer Tarr (Heritage Baptist Church)
Jessica Burns (Campbell County Humane Society)
Joshua Moerman (College for a Weekend)
Katrina Crosson (Region 2000 Tech Council/Future Focus Foundation)
Kerri Fackrell (Scaremare)
Kimberly Jenkins (Franklin County Library)
Kristen Harjula (One Body in Christ Ministries)
Kyle Godby (Rappahannock EMS Council)
Lee Overstreet (Tomahawk Elementary School)
Leigh Smith (Humane Society for Campbell County)
Markita Martin (Nelson County Parks and Recreation)
Martika Morgan (Liberty Christian Academy)
Nicole Whitted (Southside Baptist Church)
Perry Bobbitt (Winfall Baptist Church)
Ruth Camburn (Center for Judaic Studies)
Sarah Colein (Office of Student Leadership)
Stephen Shaffer (Big Brothers Big Sisters)
Steven Lucia (Agawam High School Swimming and Diving)
Tama Klein (Houndhaven, Inc.)