Written by Maggie Samples // Photo by Caleb Chunn
Harding joined the 9/11 Foundation to host a memorial event Sept. 12. This event involved partnering with The Pack Shack to host a Feed the Funnel party in the Rhodes-Reaves Fieldhouse, where volunteers worked in assembly lines to pack meals for people in need. The University was the only college in Arkansas to participate.
Through two Feed the Funnel sessions, volunteers packed 100,000 meals for the White County nonprofit 100 Families. Assistant to the Provost Dr. Andrea Morris said the goal of 100,000 packed meals was an effort to honor those who lost their lives Sept. 11, 2001.
“We’re going to be feeding White County for a long time,” Morris said. “Hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of families will be impacted by this, and we are humbled and grateful to be a part of this.”
Morris said she wants Harding to be known as a place of service in the community around the University.
“A place who not only says that we are Christ-focused and Christ-centered, but that we live it,” Morris said. “And what better way to do that than to put our hands and our feet to work on behalf of others?”
Morris said the event also included members of the Searcy community who are unaffiliated with Harding.
“Harding is hosting, but this is for the community, and we are part of an incredible community, so we wanted to make it big,” Morris said.
During her time at Harding, Morris has also been working on the Table, a response to food insecurity in the Harding community.
“While it’s not directly connected, there absolutely is this spiritual connection of it,” Morris said. “And then having the hands that are going to be serving [at Feed the Funnel], also serving in Table in some capacity as well, so we’re doing it together and in various forms.”
Morris said it is important to recognize that our neighbors include not just other students, but also the members of the Searcy community.
“We’re laboring on behalf of our neighbors,” Morris said. “Our neighbors are not only those who live next door to us in our dormitories or those that we sit next to in our classrooms, but it is those that we live next to, those of us who don’t live on campus, and it is those that we pass in the grocery store.”
Morris said she considered this event to be an opportunity to serve God in community for the community.
“God has given us an incredible gift to be his voice and his hands and his feet, and when he does that, we dare not miss that opportunity,” Morris said. “We dare not look away from it or say it’s too big. … And again, together, we can do this.”
Senior Isaac Raymond participated in the event this year and said the event is unique because it aims to serve the community on a large scale.
“The people who need us most are often right next door,” Raymond said. “Beyond that, the party itself is a super fun way to connect with friends while doing something meaningful.”
Senior Bailey Coffman said it was important for students to participate in this event because of their calling as Christians.
“As Christians we are called to serve, and being in a constant state of servanthood directs our hearts to the ultimate servant who paid the ultimate price – Jesus,” Coffman said. “For Harding students to get to work so closely in connection with bettering and providing for the needs of our community puts us in a really cool place to be able to minister and share the love of Christ to our neighbors – the community of Searcy.”