More than 20 Liberty University students, in the midst of their final exam week, volunteered in downtown Lynchburg on Saturday, Dec. 7, transforming a large auditorium at Amazement Square children’s museum into a winter wonderland for its third annual Children’s Holiday Festival scheduled for this weekend.
The project was part of Liberty’s Community Care Initiative (CCI), which launched last year and focuses on meeting the short-term, immediate needs of the community. The program is an optional supplement to the 20 hours per semester that is required of all Liberty students in their sophomore, junior, and senior years through the Christian/Community Service Office. More than 91 CCI projects have been completed this semester, totaling 2,133 hours of service.
On Saturday, students made various crafts, painted, hung an array of decorations, assembled Christmas trees, and set up tables.
Carrie Doron, a care team leader for CCI and a Spiritual Life Coach (SLC) on campus, organized the effort.
“I love being involved in the Lynchburg community because it allows me to meet new people and allows me to make a difference in their lives,” Doron said.
Freshman Jamie Otto said she began participating in CCI projects when she first arrived at Liberty.
“I love being involved in the community that is outside of Liberty,” she said. “Throughout high school, I was involved in community service projects, and I am thankful I chose a school that allows me to be service-minded in college.”
The holiday festival will take place Saturday, Dec. 14, from 8-10 a.m. and 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Every weekend, CCI sends out five to eight student-led care teams of about 10 students each. Liberty fields requests from individuals seeking help for themselves or for their family and friends, and also partners with charitable organizations to help meet their needs. Then they are assigned to student care team leaders, largely coming from Liberty’s Office of Student Leadership, who recruit team members.
Will Honeycutt, CCI faculty coordinator, said these volunteer opportunities help students meet real needs.
“This has been good for our SLCs because their Christian Community Service keeps them campus bound. This gives those who are service-hearted the opportunity to get into the community. They are leading by example, and they are showing what servant leadership looks like.”