By Denton Josey, Student Reporter
This weekend marks the first Service Saturday of the semester. Students can choose from a variety of service opportunities and sign up at the ticket window in the Campus Center.
Nancy Coburn, director of the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, said this Saturday, five different projects will be available for students to participate in, ranging from putting on price tags to surveying flood damage.
“We have a lot of different needs we’re happy to meet in Abilene,” Coburn said. “Our existence here isn’t just about us. – I think [service opportunities] help us be more of who Jesus called us to be.”
Jenna Grime, senior English major from Archbold, Ohio, is a member of the Service Action Leadership Team. Grime encourages students to get involved Saturday.
“Due to the excitement of Hurricane Katrina, students are extremely motivated to serve but just aren’t sure where to plug in,” Grime said.
Grime also said while students are eager to serve in response to Hurricane Katrina, they should also remember the hometown needs in Abilene.
“We are called now to meet the needs of those who are closest to us, and Abilene is abundant with needs-we have homeless sleeping on the streets every night in Abilene,” Grime said. “It’s time that we, as students, begin to minister to them, bringing them hope and healing through the name of Christ.
“While not all of us will be working with Hurricane victims this Saturday, we need to remember that there are people right here in Abilene who have intense needs, too,” Grime said.
One option is to help Eternal Threads, an organization that sells bags hand-made by women in India and guarantees the women are paid for their work. Eternal Threads needs volunteers to tag the merchandise for sale.
Volunteers can also help with a garage sale at Colonial Apartments or help clean at Lake Fort Phantom.
For those wanting to help flood victims, a group will go to Lake Stamford to survey damage and distribute supplies to families affected by recent flooding.
“We were helping facilitate teams in response to the evacuees we were supposed to get in Abilene, but that didn’t happen. Now we’re trying to help with the Lake Stamford project,” Coburn said.
Another area of need is with Abilene’s Habitat for Humanity. Karen Mendoza, events coordinator for Habitat, said students have shown a great interest in volunteering in the past.
“I cannot say enough good things about ACU students that come out-just a wonderful group of people, always willing to help,” Mendoza said.
Those participating with Habitat for Humanity will be repairing a home in Abilene.
“When you’re building or rehabbing a home,” Mendoza said. “It is a very rewarding feeling. You drive by a home two years later and say, ‘Hey, I helped build that. I was a part of that.'”
Mendoza said that students should at least spend one morning volunteering to see that “it is not only fun, but rewarding.”
For students not able to participate, more opportunities will be available in the future. Service Saturdays take place once a month, and the next two will be Oct. 8 and Nov. 12. The Nov. 12 event is the Intercollegiate Community Celebration that teams students from ACU, Hardin Simmons University and McMurry University.
The VSLC office is in the downstairs of the Campus Center across from the Bean Sprout and recreation room.