Washington Adventist University Students Dedicate Day of Service to Baltimore
Today more than 400 WAU student volunteers, along with WAU faculty and staff, headed to Baltimore for a day to participate in at least one dozen service projects.
Story by Lisa Krueger/ Photos by Ross Patterson
Following the unrest in Baltimore in April, Washington Adventist University leaders felt a need to go and serve there, a city that many WAU students call home. Administrators and others on campus started planning how they could help, short- and long-term.
In June Weymouth Spence, president; Angie Crews, director for corporate communication; and Kaneil Williams, Campus Ministries chaplain, met with Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City mayor, to discuss specific ways that WAU make a difference.
Spence says, “We wanted to find a way to show community support and give back through service.” Williams echoed that sentiment, saying, “We saw an opportunity to serve, a way to establish a long-term relationship that would strengthen our neighbors.”
Today more than 400 WAU student volunteers, along with WAU faculty and staff, headed to Baltimore for a day to participate in at least one dozen service projects. Their efforts included assisting in a food kitchen; beautification efforts, such as planting trees and other greenery where needed, and helping at the Chesapeake Center for Youth. They also pulled weeds and disposed of debris at the Duncan Street Miracle Garden, Willie Mae Davis Park, Hamilton EMS Little Sprouts Garden, Filbert Street Garden and Lakeland EMS Orchard and Garden.
In past years, WAU students participated in a fall and spring service day. “What makes this service day unique is that we [concentrated] our efforts throughout one entire city. We also used this focused time that we have with Baltimore as a launching pad for developing long-term service partnerships there,” says Williams.
Spence adds, “While a service day such as this one will bring hope and peace to a place like Baltimore through practical service, we also find that these opportunities to serve have a lasting effect on our students, developing a culture of service and helping them grow into moral leaders who will continue to be of service in their local communities and throughout the world.”