More than 150 Harding students participated in a student-led event on Thursday evening in the cafeteria that helped provide meals for lower-income citizens of Searcy. Sophomores Quentin Parker and Curt Baker organized and led the event they called Swipe4Searcy.
Students packed and delivered 118 boxes of food from the cafeteria using donated swipes from the student body. A food line was set up on the inside of the cafeteria next to the street entrance where servers filled the boxes. Students then took their box and loaded it into Parker and Baker’s cars.
Parker and Baker both said they appreciated Aramark and Harding’s administration because of the help and support they offered. Baker said that it shows that there are “layers of community here (at Harding).”
The two said that Harding’s slogans, “A Community of Mission,” inspired them to take action for the community of Searcy. This inspiration culminated in Swipe4Searcy.
According to Baker, Parker applies his own creativity to finding ways to help people. Swipe4Searcy was just one of Parker’s notions.
“(Parker) just has ideas, in general that’s just the way he works,” Baker said. “And that, coupled with his passion for people, means that the ideas that he has are about how to help people.”
Sophomore Shelby Gowen participated in the event as a server in the food line. She is also a friend of both Parker and Baker.
“The Lord has done His work through Quentin (Parker) and Curt (Baker) on this,” Gowen said. “They’ve done a phenomenal job and deserve all the credit, next to the Lord. I’m just blessed to be a part of it.”
Gowen described Baker as a “go-getter” and said that Parker is “constantly relying on the Spirit.” She said that these characteristics made the two natural leaders for the project.
Parker said that the event did not go how he envisioned it, but better. Both he and Baker expressed their hopes in leading an event like this again.
“If this just encourages people to think about where we are and what we could do, to me that’s a total win,” Baker said.
The two are in the process of working out details for Swipe4Searcy in order to keep carrying out the project. Follow Swipe4Searcy on Instagram and like the Swipe4Searcy Facebook page to stay updated on further information.