A total of 637 students, faculty and staff from Ouachita Baptist University served the community of Arkadelphia during Tiger Serve Day on Saturday, April 7, along with 15 deacons from First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia who joined the community service effort. A total of 92 Tiger Serve Day projects under the theme “Serve Arkadelphia” were completed by 81 volunteer teams.
“Tiger Serve Day is a unique day of service where Ouachita students, faculty and staff give back to their community by doing yard work, indoor work and other small jobs for Arkadelphia residents and non-profits,” said Judy Duvall, associate director of Ouachita’s Elrod Center for Family and Community. The Elrod Center coordinates the event each semester. “It gives our campus a day to live out their faith and serve the community they live in.”
Tiger Serve Day began in 1997. Every semester, teams of six to eight volunteers serve at various projects in the community for three hours. Projects for this semester included raking, trimming bushes, power washing and indoor work at local residences. The volunteers also were able to do cleanup work at the Humane Society, change out seasonal clothes at Lighthouse Ministries and pick up roadside litter.
“Tiger Serve Day challenges students to open up our eyes to a world of reality that isn’t just classes, events and meetings all day every day,” said Madi Polk, a senior elementary education major from Wylie, Texas, and chair of the projects team for the Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team. “It impacts the community in that it allows a burden to be lifted off of their shoulders and allows them to see a body of believers being the hands and feet of Jesus.”
The past 21 years of Tiger Serve Day have amassed a total of more than 87,000 volunteer hours completed and countless relationships formed with individuals in the community.
“The best part of Tiger Serve Day is the forming of relationships over a common bond, which is service,” Polk said. “There is no better way to build a relationship with someone, whether it be a fellow volunteer or someone who is calling on you to meet a need.”
For more information, contact Judy Duvall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5320.
By Sarah Davis // Photos by Caden Flint
April 12, 2018