Outreach Ministries held an “Outdoor Day of Service” on Oct. 11 to assist widowed members of College Church of Christ, along with a few other projects to help the Searcy community.
The idea behind the service project came from the cancellation of the annual Bisons for Christ event, usually held in the spring. Outreach Ministries recognized that those usually helped during Bisons for Christ had needs that had gone unmet, and thus organized an event to do just that.
“We were able to serve about 15 widows and do other projects for the community,” senior Anna Sanders, the Rock House’s Christians in Action student intern, said. “The projects for the widows [and widowers] involved raking leaves, basic yard work, mowing and cleaning up areas. The other projects included giving food to those in isolation, helping with His House, clean-up and set-up for students serving.”
According to Todd Gentry, who heads the Rock House Outreach program, about 75 Harding students participated. Most of the service projects took place outside, with students divided into smaller groups of eight. Gentry said around 100 extra meals were left over that had been prepared for student volunteers, which were later delivered to students on campus in isolation and quarantine.
“The Day of Service began to be planned after Bisons for Christ was canceled in April due to COVID-19,” Gentry said. “We discussed ways to get service done for so many in need. We had to develop a plan that would allow for the guidelines.”
Freshman student volunteer Madison Kenne helped at the event by raking and clearing the yard of a man who had recently undergone surgery, and said that she was glad to be able to assist someone in need during the day of service.
“It was great to serve someone after not being able to participate in service projects for months due to COVID-19,” Keene said. “I would love to volunteer again in the future because it is a great way to serve the community and a way to make new godly friends.”
Sanders said that she was heavily involved in the planning process for the day of service event, doing things such as hanging posters, passing out fliers and making a video to increase student involvement. “Christ calls us to be like him, and what better way than to help people who need it?” Sanders said. “As Christians, we are called to help the widows and orphans. This project did just that. I am so happy with the response we got, and I hope we can go back to doing Bison’s For Christ in the spring.”