GWU Students Serve Big, Hectic City Through Small, Simple Acts

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Twelve From Gardner-Webb Visited Boston for Recent Service Trip

By Bryton Mitchell, (’17) GWU Intern for Communications

While handing out lemonade and preparing meals, students from Gardner-Webb University learned about serving others during a recent visit to the city of Boston. Not just a mission trip, the students’ time was divided between serving, sightseeing, and studying how big cities operate.

Students participating were Kelsey Carithers of Gastonia, N.C., David Cole of Clover, S.C., Jeff Day of Lancaster, Pa., Hailey Dollard of Lebanon, Tenn., Brooke Hill of Flat Rock, N.C., Miranda Morris of Hudson, N.C., Luke Powell of Boiling Springs, Aubrey Winum of Stanley, Va., and Jared McMurry of Darlington, Ind.

Cole (’18) received some valuable lessons from the trip. “It made us realize the importance of service, and how what may seem a small gesture to us can make a huge impact in someone else’s life. We also learned to appreciate the huge efforts that social workers and volunteers undertake to serve others.”

Micah Martin, director of student leadership development and community engagement, and Brian Arnold, assistant director of student activities, began offering the service trip three years ago. “Our point in doing this is to help students understand that wherever you end up, big or small city, there are always needs by those in the community,” Martin explained.

One of the service projects involved teaming up with an organization that raises funds for childhood cancer, Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Students helped staff the Inaugural Lemon Climb, an event in which participants raced to the top of a skyscraper via a staircase. “This included assisting with set up and break down, registration, bag check in and check out, communication to participants, and overall encouragement,” noted Sarah Currie, GWU Dean of Students, who was a leader on the trip.

The second project was working with a women’s only transitional home known as Rosie’s Place. The group helped prepare and serve lunch to over 170 women, and then cleaned up afterwards. “We got to directly interact with these women who live there day in and day out trying to transition, and you don’t get to do that in Boiling Springs,” Martin explained.

Students also explored Boston, participating in history tours and visiting Fenway Park, Harvard University and the aquarium. “I hope the students learned the value of traveling, of seeing another city and interacting with cultures that are different from their everyday experience,” observed Currie. “Plus, they experienced the reward you receive by serving others and serving with their fellow classmates.”

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).