Ouachita’s Elrod Center hosts 52nd Tiger Serve Day
April 25, 2023 - Coleman Callan
The Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community at Ouachita Baptist University held its 52nd Tiger Serve Day on Saturday, April 1. More than 600 Ouachita students, faculty and staff divided into 87 teams to complete 89 service projects at homes, non-profit organizations and churches in the Arkadelphia area.
“Tiger Serve Day is a particularly humbling experience for those who serve. It is a huge part of the Ouachita tradition, and I am so glad to be a part of the team that puts the day together,” said Allie Graves, a junior community and family services major from Texarkana, Texas.
The Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team recruits volunteers, organizes tools needed for the day, personally visits every project and publicizes the event through social media local news outlets.
Tiger Serve Day brings the entire Ouachita campus together for a time of service to the community once in the fall and spring semesters.
“Our Tiger Serve Day theme this semester is ‘Love God, Love Others,’ taken from the Gospel of Matthew,” said Judy Duvall, Elrod Center director. “This encompasses the heart and soul of Tiger Serve Day. As Christ followers, we are able to live this out by loving God through loving our community in very practical and relational ways.”
The theme encouraged volunteers to deepen their love for God as well as others through acts of service to the Arkadelphia community.
“Tiger Serve Day is dedicated to simply being the hands and feet of Jesus. We ultimately want to love and serve others the way God does, helping those in our community who might not otherwise be helped,” said Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team member Valeria Gomez, a senior communications & media/multimedia major from Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Photos by Sarah Dean
The first Tiger Serve Day in March 1997 turned into cleaning up damage after an EF4 tornado caused severe destruction throughout the area.
“As the team prepared to love God and others through our service to the community of Arkadelphia this year, we were truly brought back to the heart of Tiger Serve Day. We began to hear tornado sirens from inside the Elrod Center,” said Coleman Callan, a sophomore communications & media/integrated communications major from Graysville, Ala. “After seeking shelter from the storms, we quickly remembered that 26 years ago students were also planning for a day of service that quickly turned into cleanup from the tornado that swept through Arkadelphia. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by the tornadoes and storms in our state.”
“There is true value in doing something well over an extended period of time,” said Leigh Anne McKinney, Elrod Center associate director. “Year after year, through service to our community, Tiger Serve Day continues to fulfill the foundational command to love God and others.”
Lead photo by Sarah Dean
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