Wayland seeking projects for massive work day in community

PLAINVIEW – Community service is not a new concept at Wayland Baptist University. Faculty and staff members are involved in various service organizations, volunteer through their churches and with area agencies. Student groups do much of the same, interacting regularly with community organizations and entities.

But the university really wanted an opportunity to make a grand impact on the community in one effort. Thus the Degree of Difference Day was born.

“We’ve been wanting to have an event that would really make an impact on Plainview and be a grand show of support for the community as a whole and our place in it,” said Teresa Young, co-organizer of the DOD Day, set for October 28. “We thought that a one-day service blitz where our students and employees worked side-by-side in various projects to help our community would be the perfect fit.”

Hope English, director of student leadership and organizer of the university’s new Center for Student Leadership and Involvement concurred. Serving as co-organizer for the DOD Day, English is excited about the possibility of what the day can mean for students and employees as well as the community.

“Of course, we want our students to earn academic degrees while attending WBU, but because we are a faith-based university, we are committed to cultivating humility and love for others in the hearts of our students,” English said. “In keeping with the mission of our school, we want to equip our students to be leaders with servant hearts, those who truly understand and experience the joy of serving God by serving others.”

The event was planned to coincide with the national Make a Difference Day for the fall. The schedule calls for volunteers to work at least six hours that day and then come together afterward for an outdoor picnic and celebration time. The chapel service the following Wednesday will be a follow-up to the service day with testimonials and a slide show review of the projects completed.

The two mailed letters to many Plainview agencies and churches soliciting projects for the day. But they are also open to project ideas from the community itself and others who may know of needs that Wayland folks could help meet on that day.

Projects will be assigned as far as the manpower from the volunteer work force will allow. The university is hoping at least 300 will participate in this first effort and expect the event to grow as the years go by.

“We really want the Degree of Difference Day to be an annual event where we can really put our hands out in service,” Young said. “By the time our centennial rolls around in 2008, we hope to have the majority of our students involved.”

To submit project ideas, contact Hope English at 291-3422 or mail your submissions to English at 1900 West 7th Street, CMB 306, Plainview, Texas 79072.