Serve Day: up close and personal
George Fox’s ninth annual Serve Day helped students get “up close and personal” with people in their surrounding communities. Of the 1,400 students, staff, and faculty sent out into the community on Sept. 5, nearly 350 were assigned to work at individual homes. Most of the home placements were arranged through Love Inc., Faith in Action, and various Newberg churches.
One home that received some loving attention was that of George Fox biology professor Mark Doyle, on leave due to serious illness. Students from Weesner House and employees of the biology department pruned a tree that was falling on the house and inspected the roof for damage; they hauled and stacked firewood, built a fence, and repaired a deck. “It was beautiful,” says Doyle. “All the things that I just couldn’t do were done. It was such a relief.”
Four of Doyle’s former students, now seniors, asked to come along. Biology professor and site leader Dwight Kimberly felt their time would be best spent sitting and talking with Doyle. “Seeing friends and feeling part of the George Fox community again” were the highlights of the day, says Doyle.
Other students and employees worked at various nonprofits, public agencies, churches, and retirement homes in Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, and Yamhill counties. Jobs at the 65 sites and 30 homes were diverse; in addition to the cleaning, weeding, building, and painting jobs, volunteers insulated an attic, made bingo cards, rocked babies, cleared blackberries, and taught emotionally troubled children to play golf.
Sophomore Jessica Lee helped at Community House, a home in Lake Oswego dedicated to helping young unwed mothers and their children get off to a good start on their lives together. Lee cleaned closets and helped a new mother work on a scrapbook. “It was a great experience,” she says. “I really hope to visit there again soon, maybe for a movie night or to babysit the babies while the girls go out for a night of fun.”