Saturday, Sept. 26, will mark the 38th Tiger Serve Day for Ouachita Baptist University. The semiannual event is an opportunity for Ouachita students, faculty and staff to come together to serve the community of Arkadelphia through half-day projects for homes, schools and nonprofits. The community service tradition, hosted by the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community, has resulted in more than 70,000 volunteer service hours since its inception in 1997.
Ouachita volunteers gather at 8:30 a.m. to divide into teams and receive their projects before heading out to meet the people they will be serving. In recent years, volunteer numbers have neared 1,000, with more than 100 teams serving each semester.
This year, volunteers will experience something new as they meet at the new Elrod Center facility.
David Willhite, a senior Christian studies major from Rowlett, Texas, serves as chair of the Tiger Serve Day logistics team. He noted that the new facility offers “a new, more modern taste,” as well as much-needed functionality.
Additionally, the Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team is working to generate more excitement and, therefore, more volunteers by using the social media hashtag #serveyoursocksoff.
“One of our goals for this year is to have more student/professor involvement than we have ever had in years past,” said TSD logistics team member Jacob Jenkins, a junior Christian studies major from Benton, Ark. “The element that makes TSD successful is the people who have a heart for service and community. If it weren’t for the teams that sacrifice their time and energy to serve, TSD would not be possible.”
Student leaders also take on a large bulk of responsibility when it comes to making Tiger Serve Day happen.
“The Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team is the backbone of this day,” said Judy Duvall, assistant director of the Elrod Center. “They are servant leaders with a heart for God and people.”
The TSD Leadership Team includes groups that manage publicity, teams, projects and logistics. Their service sets the stage for volunteers to be successful when they arrive to work.
“Tiger Serve Day is all about incarnational service,” said Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement. “You have to show up and make a contribution as a team and enjoy the fact that there are many things in life that have to be accomplished with others.”
For more information about Tiger Serve Day, including sign-up information, visit www.obu.edu/serve.