Students and Lynchburg locals to serve Lynchburg community April 22
Students and faculty will have the opportunity to serve the Lynchburg community through a variety of service projects during the upcoming Serve Lynchburg event April 22.
From working with animals at the Lynchburg Humane Society to beautification projects with Lynchburg Parks and Recreation, there are many projects for each participant.
Volunteers can select their skill set when they register, and then they are assigned to a job that matches it.
Each organization provides supervision, so if someone does not know how to do something, a supervisor can show him or her.
Cassie Marroquin, who helped coordinate Serve Lynchburg, said she hopes the day provides a middle ground for both people who love Liberty and people who love the city.
Marroquin said she also hopes it will teach students the value of impacting those around them.
“I think a lot of times students view Liberty as a community in itself, and to an extent it is, but it exists in a greater community,” Marroquin said.
“As we’re training champions for Christ, something I don’t think we should neglect is giving them opportunities to step outside their comfort zone … and to learn how to view themselves as community members right now.”
She hopes the opportunity will teach students the value of responding to the
needs of others.
“I think a piece of it that’s unique is that we didn’t pick the projects,” Marroquin said.
“We came and asked organizations, ‘What would you like done?’ That’s an approach I hope students are able to pick up on as they move forward with doing service in their life — asking first and then responding.”
Lew Weider, executive director of LU Serve, said the day is about showing the community the love of Christ and changing peoples’ ideas about Christians.
Weider believes Lynchburg residents’ perceptions of the university will change when they are able to work alongside students.
“That community effort, just reaching out in love, makes a difference in anybody’s life,” Weider said.
“When you see your child or your mother who’s in a nursing home being helped, it just tells you the glowing report of how students came in and loved on them. You may not like everything about this institution, but when you have that kind of experience, it’s transformative in your mind.”
Students can participate in Serve Lynchburg by registering on the LU Serve homepage.
Registration is open until April 15, and students who register get a free T-shirt and the option of a $5 bagged lunch.
“We’re grateful for our students’ hearts,” Weider said.
“A lot of them want to help out, and we’re encouraging them to help. It’s a day out of their lives that I think they’ll remember for the rest of their life.”
Van tuyl is a news reporter.