- Service Day
- Freshmen Orientation and Block Service
- Operation Christmas Child
- Labor for Your Neighbor
- Praise and Pancakes
On October 2nd, 2012, Bethel held its 24th annual Service Day. This day is set aside every fall so that hundreds of students and staff from Bethel are able to donate their time and services to multiple organizations and individuals throughout the Michiana community.
Service Day 2012 began at 8:30 AM when the students and staff all gathered in the Everest-Rohrer auditorium to divide into their work groups. A brief devotional was given and the groups were dismissed to load onto their designated buses. The buses and few supplemental vehicles departed the Bethel campus and were able to arrive at their individual locations around 9:30 AM.
During Service Day, 796 students and staff participated in blessing 59 organizations in South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart, Osceola, Granger, and Niles, MI. Service at each location varied from physical labor such as yard work, construction, and painting to personal interaction with the elderly and elementary school students. After a full day of hard work, the volunteers arrived back at Bethel around 1:30 PM feeling a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction regarding the day’s events.
Overall, Service Day 2012 was a complete success, evidence of this is found in some quotes from the day:
“This annual service project is so valuable to our organization. It assists us in conserving our funds so they can be used for client benefit.” –Milton Adult Services
“As always, I am impressed by Bethel’s students. They are efficient, have positive attitudes, and are hard workers.” - Lori King of Guidance Ministries
“We really just had fun serving together.” - Landon Oyer, student
Freshmen Orientation and Block Service
Freshmen at Bethel are required to do eight hours of community service as part of their Block course requirements. During freshmen orientation, the class serves the city of Mishawaka, by helping with clean-up of the river bank area. This event counts for three of the required hours.
At some time during the first semester, Block professors and mentors arrange for their individual blocks to do a service project together lasting at least two hours. Participation in these two events combined with Service Day, meet the service requirement for Bethel College freshmen.
Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a seasonal event put on by Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that ministers to suffering children by bringing "joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love". In November 2011, Bethel College students collected and donated 130 shoe boxes full of gifts for less fortunate children! Prayerfully consider how you can contribute to Operation Christmas Child in the future.
Labor for Your Neighbor
On April 14, 2012, the Service Learning Center held its second annual voluntary service day appropriately named, Labor for Your Neighbor. This opportunity was created to reach out to Bethel’s immediate neighbors and show them Christ’s love through manual labor and meaningful fellowship. 77 Bethel students volunteered to participate and were able to serve 28 neighbors surrounding the college. The students assisted the neighbors with tasks such as raking, gardening, pulling weeds, and painting. Once the students were finished with the spring cleaning, they invited the neighbors back to campus for a barbecue. This service opportunity has proved to be a huge success. The Service Learning Center is expecting to enlist a greater number of volunteers next year in order to serve even more neighbors in the community!
Praise and Pancakes
February 2012 held our third annual event, Praise and Pancakes. On Sunday, February 19, 37 Bethel students loaded into vans and made the trip to either Hope Ministries in Mishawaka, Faith Mission of Elkhart, Our Lady of the Road, or Center for the Homeless. Once reaching their respective locations, the students began preparing a pancake breakfast for the residents. As the morning continued, many students were able to eat with and get to know some of the residents. After the meal was finished, the students facilitated a worship service for everyone to participate in. The students were thrilled to be Jesus’ hand extended that morning and the residents were extremely appreciative to receive the love freely given by willing servants.