At Liberty, we’re training people — not just professionals.
Because we believe an education isn’t complete if it ignores teaching students how to make things right in the world or giving them the chance to do it themselves.
Here, students give over half a million volunteer hours every year — the equivalent of a nearly $3 million investment in the local community.
Our own humanitarian aid organization, LU Serve Now, can mobilize staff and students to hit the ground within days of a crisis, bringing help and hope to those in the midst of tragedy.
Having priorities that include being a voice for the voiceless, fighting for the oppressed, and bringing healing to the hurting will make any job applicant stand out as the person — not just the professional — you’d want on your team.
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Our students aren’t waiting to act like the Church when they graduate and leave Liberty – they are living as the Church right now.
Learn about the many ways students make a lasting impact on the Lynchburg community by volunteering on a regular basis.
Liberty is leading the way in training students — from all academic fields — in areas like disaster relief, anti-human trafficking, orphan care, food and water distribution, and poverty alleviation.
Learn about our recent crisis response trips and how your student can be involved in bringing tangible help and healing to victims of unexpected disasters.
The Value of Volunteering
Employers are not just looking for a great education or a great résumé – they want to hire great people.
They’re looking for candidates who exhibit adaptability, flexibility, honesty, teamwork, dependability, willingness to listen and learn, critical thinking, and good communication skills.
Volunteer opportunities help students cultivate these traits and are an intentional part of the Liberty experience.
Volunteer coordinators regularly report that our students exceed expectations, have better attitudes than adult volunteers, and over-deliver.
Many times, students are volunteering using the technical skills they learn in their degree programs, like sound engineering, technical production, or program development.
Liberty students serve at over 1,500 organizations per year.
They give over half a million hours in volunteer service every year.
One program – Campus Serve – was started in 2002, and about 150 students continue to serve Lynchburg every week through work projects, children’s ministry, elderly care, and poverty alleviation.
Liberty’s humanitarian aid organization, LU Send, has sent teams to provide immediate disaster relief to places like California, Puerto Rico, Texas, Antigua, Cuba, and Mexico.
What are some ways Liberty students and staff are making changes in the world?
Liberty’s Habitat for Humanity Club has raised money for and built three homes since 2014 — and just received their second $20,000 grant from State Farm Insurance to begin their fourth. The only other school to have received the grant back-to-back was Clemson University.
Law students provide free tax filing help to low-income families every year.
Medical students provide free physicals, flu shots, mammograms, and mental health and vision screenings during community clinics in underserved areas every year.
Operation Christmas Child
Every year, Liberty students participate in Operation Christmas Child. Thousands of shoeboxes are distributed in September, packed and prayed over by the students, and collected in October during the Liberty University Shoebox Blitz.
In Fall 2019, over 2,400 shoeboxes were assembled and donated — one dorm packed nearly 270 boxes in a single evening!
And over the past year…
Liberty University partnered with Unclaimed Baggage and HumanKind in the Fall 2019 semester to distribute 308 suitcases to foster children in Central Virginia. Unclaimed Baggage donated the suitcases, then Liberty students decorated them and purchased hygiene kits, blankets, and toys to pack inside.
Over 100 students packed more than 1,000 backpacks through LU Serve Food Disparity workshop as part of Food for Thought’s backpack program, providing underprivileged Lynchburg City School students with weekend meals.
Sodexo, Liberty’s dining services provider, and the local Food Lion also donated a combined 3,450 pounds of food, filling 490 additional backpacks.
Liberty’s football team used the Thanksgiving season to buy and personally deliver special meals to roughly 12 different families. During the final game of the regular season, they collected 10 bins of canned food for Lynchburg Daily Bread (a local food pantry).
Liberty sent faculty, staff, and students on 24 trips during Spring Break 2019. Projects included preparing housing for incoming refugees in Spain, teaching music to children in Nicaragua, and providing trauma counseling for sex trafficking victims in India.
In both 2018 and 2019, Family and Consumer Sciences students raised more than $4,000 for local organizations and nonprofits through class projects.
Over 6,000 diapers and 80 baby items were collected during Liberty’s Law Students for Life Club 2019 prayer breakfast to be donated to the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center.
“There are so many types of devastation, and each of them reveals this is such a broken world. Being exposed to these types of hurt and brokenness is sobering, and it changes the way that you live.
It’s humbling to realize what you have — and to be grateful for it. It’s a privilege to be intentional and respond by becoming part of the aid and relief.”
— Holly Griswold, associate director of LU Serve Now
“One of the biggest benefits of the trip [to Rwanda] was seeing the faith of others that had endured through crisis. I was speaking to our amazing translator, Justin, who is now a dear friend of mine. He was a young child during the Rwandan genocide and lost all of his family members.
I asked him what he did when he doubted God. He looked at me confused, “What do you mean?” I repeated my question, and he responded “I never doubted God.” He didn’t say this in a prideful manner, he was just thoroughly confused by the concept of doubting God in the midst of trials because his view of God did not change based on circumstances.
This trip deepened my view of reconciliation and forgiveness to a level I didn’t even know existed.”
— Brooke S., psychology student
“Serving in Nepal showed me (in a way I could not have received through a textbook) that I don’t have to take small bites of the possible — through Christ, I can embark on the impossible.”