The Community Care Initiative of Liberty University held its first Love On Lynchburg (LOL) Day Saturday, Feb. 23. According to a Liberty press release, more than 100 students came out to participate in numerous community service projects within Lynchburg. Some of these projects included baking and playing games at nursing homes, cleaning and landscaping city spaces, cleaning homes of disabled residents and even building wheelchair ramps.
According to the press release, the Community Care Initiative (CCI) began in September 2012 and focuses on relieving the short-term needs of the Lynchburg community. Its mission is to leave a lasting impression on the local community to demonstrate true Christian faith through various acts of service.
According to the CCI, its theme verse is based off James 2:18: “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith apart from my works.”
CCI reflects the love of Christ through its volunteer opportunities, which is seen by the motto: “Demonstrating our faith by doing our neighbor good.”
CCI is an optional addition to the 20 hours of community service required from all students, according to the press release. The program is designed for students and staff who want to go beyond that requirement and respond to needs all around Lynchburg.
“The Love On Lynchburg event is doing almost 30 projects in one day,” Cairsti Wilson, a freshman volunteer, said. “I had heard about it in hall meeting, and I thought it was an awesome opportunity to go beyond what is required of us and reach out to those around us.”
Wilson was one of the many volunteers of LOL. She came out to the Lynchburg Health and Rehabilitation Center and played bingo with the residents. Stephanie Hill, another volunteer, completed service projects for a local non-profit organization called His Vision.
“Lynchburg is a great community to be a part of and share the love of Christ,” Hill said. “Even though not everyone may be a Christian, it’s awesome that we can come together and help out those in need. I volunteered to help because not only am I called to do this, but I want to reflect the Gospel to this community through my works.”
According to the press release, Will Honeycutt, the coordinator of the CCI, helped focus the volunteer efforts toward impacting Lynchburg and the surrounding communities through a student volunteer service. The students provide a physical, tangible way to show love to the residents of the community. CCI has sent out “care teams” every weekend who have contributed 2,255 hours of care to date through more than 70 different projects.
According to the press release, there are three driving principles behind CCI: “Love your Lord, love your neighbor and leave your mark.” These principles not only govern CCI, but also direct the lives of Christians.
“We want to hold LOL Day each semester, where we place as many students as possible in the community and do the most good we can possibly do for our neighbors on that day,” Honeycutt said.
Students, faculty and staff interested in signing up for a CCI care project can email firstname.lastname@example.org.