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Service Day

On October 1st, 2013, Bethel held its 25th annual Service Day. This day is set aside every fall so that hundreds of students and staff from Bethel are able to offer their time and services to multiple organizations and individuals throughout the Michiana community.

Service Day 2013 began at 8:30 AM when 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 into 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.

Throughout the day, 778 students and 25 faculty were able to donate a total of over 2,400 hours of service to 60 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 1:15 PM feeling a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction regarding the day’s events.

Service Day 2013 went very smoothly and was a complete success, as is evidenced by the following quotes from the day:

“These projects would have taken me many hours to accomplish by myself – if, in fact, I had found time for them.  All three [projects] will make a difference for years to come!”
-Terry McBride of Michiana Youth Ministries

“We truly appreciate your service.  We are blessed to have Bethel College in our community.”
-Christina McGovern, director of Youth Service Bureau

“A great environment of togetherness while serving the Lord.” –Brandon Gerig, student

Bethel College Service Day, 2013

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 2012, Bethel College students collected and donated 258 shoe boxes full of gifts for less fortunate children! Prayerfully consider how you can contribute to Operation Christmas Child this year.

Labor for Your Neighbor

On April 13, 2013, the Service Learning Center held its fifth 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. A total of 70 Bethel students volunteered to participate and were able to serve 22 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 lunch in the DC. This service opportunity has proved to be a huge success. The Service Learning Center is expecting to gather a greater number of volunteers next year in order to serve even more neighbors in the community!

Extreme School Makeover

On Saturday, March 23, 2013, 32 students participated in Extreme School Makeover at Brown Intermediate Center in South Bend. The event was created because students wanted a hands-on project that would impact the community. Bethel had been forming a good working relationship with Brown during last year’s school year, so we decided to continue building up that connection and serve them in this way.

The main task for the day was painting three stripes (brown, green, and yellow) on the top of the wall of three “pods” that enclosed three different grade levels. Students were broken up into 3 groups and sent to various grade levels where they did an excellent job at taping, cutting in lines, and painting the stripes. After finishing the painting, we cleaned up and headed back to campus. It turned out to be a great day of service and was enjoyed by everyone involved!