Serve Day

The 14th annual Serve Day occurred on Sept. 5 with 1,700 members of the George Fox community heading out to 84 service sites! From Portland to Independence, Newberg employees and students worked together to live out this year’s Serve Day theme: “Simply Love.”

The Newberg campus cancels classes for the day so that all students and employees can participate in this unique day of service. The community joins together for a continental breakfast in the morning, a time of worship, and words of reflection from President Baker and instructions from Vice President of Student Life, Brad Lau. And then … 1,700 people are sent out to serve in the name of Jesus!

The goal of Serve Day is help students and employees connect with various members of our Newberg community as well as surrounding areas where we can live out Christ’s call to love our neighbors. Our focus verse this year was I John 4:11: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another.” Our hope is that students will also see opportunities to serve through the year.

Undergraduate art professor Tim Timmerman and a group of art students painted a special mural for a shelter in Newberg. Other students and employees served at Habitat for Humanity sites in Newberg and McMinnville. More than 200 students and employees spread out into the community with a local agency, Love INC, to do yard work and cleaning at specific homes where families need an extra dose of support and help. These students and employees were able to care for families in the community in this special way.

Six different schools in Newberg and the surrounding areas were served. As one elementary school counselor said, “I have been amazed over the years at the blessings that Serve Day has brought to our school.”

This year graduate students and faculty from the doctor of psychology program went to Juliette's House Child Abuse Assessment Center to provide office support and connect with program directors to serve however they were needed. The students and faculty from the new doctor of physical therapy program also served this year, connecting at the Portland Rescue Mission to help at the men’s shelter as well as Shepherd’s Door, the women and children’s ministry center. When told that 35 students and faculty would be coming to help at the Mission site, the site coordinator exclaimed, “We are so grateful to have these students come! We will take all the help we can get!”

After a day of serving in Newberg and other cities – cleaning, scrubbing, painting, repairing, building, singing with, listening, creating, and raking – the Fox community joined together for a meal on the quad. Picnic blankets, music, and lawn games for all to rest after a full day. Students and employees were also able to connect with GFU clubs and as well as 30 local churches as part of our church fair.

Meredith Dougherty,
Serve Day Coordinator