Ouachita Baptist University’s fall Tiger Serve Day will take be held, Saturday, Sept. 23. Students, faculty and staff will meet at the Ben M. Elrod Center for Community and Family at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast provided by Sodexo before dispersing to service projects all over the community.
Tiger Serve Day is a program coordinated by the Elrod Center each semester that encourages Ouachitonians to give back to the city of Arkadelphia. This year’s theme is “Serve Arkadelphia,” which aptly describes this program’s purpose.
“Tiger Serve Day’s mission is to establish relationships and meet very practical needs in the community,” said Judy Duvall, associate director of the Elrod Center. “The volunteers are able to do a variety of jobs including outdoor and indoor work for community members and organizations.”
“Tiger Serve Day has opened my eyes to the people of Arkadelphia and how much we as students miss out on because we get so busy,” said Hannah James, a member of the student-led Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team and a junior business administration major from Benton, Ark. “It’s my favorite day to pause and love on Arkadelphia.”
Along with meeting practical and physical needs of community members, students involved are encouraged to go one step further in their service. Tiger Serve Day fosters relationship-building between members of Ouachita’s community and members of Arkadelphia’s community.
“The major long-term impact of Tiger Serve Day has to be its friend-raising outcome,” said Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement. “The service we provide is of real practical help, particularly to senior citizens who can no longer do some of the things that require physical strength. The other reality is that friendships are formed between those serving and those served, and that builds goodwill.”
Tiger Serve Day is the largest service event sponsored by Ouachita each semester. The event is one of the Elrod Center’s signature programs, and it exemplifies one of Ouachita’s largest goals for students.
“Our dream as a university is to graduate men and women who will participate in service for the common good throughout their life,” Cosh stated. “It’s impact has the potential to be global and certainly will be a gift that continues to give until the Lord returns or calls us home.”
An additional impact of this semester’s Tiger Serve Day will be felt in Houston, Texas. A team of about 50 students, faculty and staff will travel to the city to assist in cleanup from Hurricane Harvey. They will partner with Tallowod Baptist Church for the weekend-long project.
Tiger Serve Day is a program of Ouachita’s Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community. Participants can become involved by signing up at www.obu.edu/serve. For more information, contact Judy Duvall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5320.
By Katie Smith
September 14, 2017