This January marked the 24th year that Southern Adventist University has honored Martin Luther King Day (MLK) through community service. Approximately 1,100 Southern students, along with numerous employees and community members, volunteered at more than 30 locations in the Chattanooga, Tenn., area. Projects ranged from running a street store that provided clothing to the homeless to helping run a robotics camp for children.
Freshman clinical psychology major Sauri Felix helped clean debris from a local farm that was damaged during a recent tornado. She believes that service is important, not only for those who are helped, but also for those who serve.
“By serving others you learn how to think about more than yourself,” Felix said. “You learn how to think outside of the box and about other people. If everybody cared about other people more, the world would be better.”
Although Southern began its annual Community Service Day in 1993, this year, for the first time, the University also held a week of service prior to the usual event.
Each day of the week leading up to MLK Day featured a different service opportunity. Students read books to elementary-aged children, spent time with residents of a retirement home, wrote thank-you cards for veterans and law enforcement officers, and sewed pet beds for a shelter.
“At Southern, we aspire to the highest ideals Jesus set forth during His time on Earth,” said David Smith, president of Southern. “Just as He came to serve and not to be served, His followers are to live lives focused on serving others. So, on Martin Luther King Day we go into the community to follow Jesus’ example. In doing so, we celebrate the amazing love of God and how He came to Earth to serve us, as undeserving as we are.”
On Community Service Day, Southern launched a project to collect 125,000 service hours this year in honor of its 125th anniversary. That day close to 4,000 hours were logged. Join Southern in service! Visit southern.edu/125 to enter your hours and check progress throughout the year.
Southern Adventist University | March 2017