George Fox University closed its doors on Wednesday, Sept. 5 to allow students, staff and faculty to assist nonprofits, public agencies, churches, retirement homes and individual citizens during the school’s 14th annual day of service.
More than 1,500 students and employees participated in Serve Day, performing a variety of projects – including construction, painting, weeding, cleaning and visiting with seniors – for 83 sites in Yamhill, Washington, Marion, Multnomah and Clackamas counties.
Scroll down for a photo gallery, video highlights and a recap of one student’s experience.
See how art professor Tim Timmerman and a group of students used their artistic abilities to transform a women’s shelter at Love Inc.
My Serve Day Experience
By Heather DeRosa
Serve Day is one of my favorite events George Fox puts on every year. Class is cancelled, and students are sent out to serve the area surrounding Newberg. Being that Serve Day occurs during the second week of classes, it is an awesome opportunity to get to know the people in your living area who you ordinarily wouldn’t get to spend time with or get to know. Some of my best friends here at Fox are people I got to know on a deeper level on Serve Day. Nothing brings you together like long talks while pulling weeds, painting or washing windows.
This year, I worked with an organization in Newberg called Love Inc., which helps individuals and families in need. One of those groups in need were senior citizens living in the Nut Tree Ranch mobile home park in Newberg.
My roommate Alice and I were assigned to pull weeds in a woman named Kay’s yard. When we made it to Kay’s lot, she was waiting for us. She greeted us with a big smile on her face and put us right to work. Her yard was covered in weeds, but thankfully it was pretty small. We spent two hours there, crouched in the dirt, yanking those nasty weeds out. While we were working, she shared a little bit about her life. She had lived in the mobile home park for 9 years and thoroughly enjoys the sense of community there. We also began talking about her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. Her son lives close by and comes to visit her and do her yard work a few times a month. She was thrilled that the next time her son would come to visit, they could enjoy themselves instead of him spending his Saturday weeding her yard and not really getting the chance to actually visit with his mom.
Most of the residents at Nut Tree Ranch were happy to have us there just to talk with, let alone to do their yard work and clean their homes. The whole point of Serve Day is getting out and serving others, but the past three Serve Days I have been a part of, I have felt like the one being served. At the end of the day when they come out to thank you and admire your hard work, it makes it all worth it. It gives you this sense of joy that just being there and being ready to work means the world to those being served.