The university’s annual Serve Day makes a big difference in our local community, but one alumna has spread its impact all the way to South Africa. Rebecca Turba (’10), a teacher at Bridges of Hope Academy in South Africa, recently launched Bridges Service Day. Here’s an update from Rebecca’s newsletter:
I have taken on the organization of our school’s community service projects. I really have enjoyed picking this up. Our students are required to do a form of community service each term. We were having difficulty setting up times and places to go and staff members to help drive and facilitate. I was inspired by the way my university does community service (Serve Day, where every one in the school, students and staff, serve the community in an all day event). We decided to adopt this idea and morph it to fit the academy. Thus last term Bridges Service Day was bourn. We will now be doing service days every term, please pray for their continued success.
We started the morning with a prayer service and had the kids split into their serve groups with the staff that were facilitating them. They spent time praying over their location and the people they would meet as well as their time of service. The kids then went out in groups, 5-15 kids in a group, and served until lunchtime.
We had several projects, first was a community garden that the kids helped cultivate and weed for the local women. We also had a group of kids go to a local underfunded preschool and read to the kids. Some of the kids went to Lord’s Acre, a church in the local township, where they cleaned the kitchen, the preschool, the sanctuary, and the front yard. One group of kids went to the old age home where they sang to the residents. A small group of students went to the local school for autism where they helped paint the playground equipment. And the last group of kids went to the Eagles
Nest Camp Site where they helped with maintenance of the hall and kitchen.
The kids said they enjoyed being able to serve the people in their community. Several of them said their favorite part was being able to play with the little kids and make them smile. Once back at school almost all the students asked, “When can we go back?”