A Day of Service, A Lifetime of GrowthApril 2, 1998
Bill and Rebecca Barfield didn't need an alarm clock on May 25, 1996. The couple were awakened at 5:45 a.m. to the sound of a Cadillac crashing into their living room. The driver ran from the scene leaving a trail of blood, stolen car, and an uninsured house in shambles. Bill Barfield, who has diabetes and is unemployed, his 83¡year¡old mother Beatrice Light with Alzheimer's, and Rebecca Barfield needed a miracle ¡¡ a new home.
A Miracle Indeed
For nearly two years, Waco residents have volunteered their time and skills to refurbish a home the city of Waco owned. For this spring's Steppin' Out, 50 students from Baylor's Alpha Phi ç service fraternity had the privilege of seeing this family's prayers answered last Saturday morning. APO students mowed, edged, painted, and cleaned to bring the house up to code so the city can turn it over to the Barfields.
"The kids worked their hearts out last weekend. They didn't stand around or play, they worked," Rebecca Barfield said. "Not too many people would help someone out like this. I'm glad to see there's still good people in the world."
APO members removed old sheet rock from the house during the fall Steppin' Out and wanted to return to the house this semester to see its progress.
"We wanted to make this an ongoing effort. This service project was great because we were able to see how our work affected people's lives," said Keith Aulick, a Waco junior and APO member.
Margie Cintron, neighborhood development coordinator with the city of Waco, has worked with the Barfields to prepare their house for inspection.
APO members were among more than 2,200 Baylor students from 98 organizations that participated in Steppin' Out Saturday morning, March 28. Steppin' Out is a university service project that has been held once each semester since 1985. This is the second Steppin' Out that has involved schools, community centers, churches, and other groups. For this spring's effort 250 Waco citizens from 12 organizations joined hands with Baylor students to tackle projects such as cleaning parks and schools, playing with kids, working in yards, painting houses and churches, and visiting the elderly.
"This is the first year we invited community organizations to work with Steppin' Out. We paired them up with Baylor students to help break down barriers and stereotypes between Baylor students and the community. We feel that through service we can bridge the gap," said Sean Mayo, a Topeka sophomore and external recruitment co¡chair for Steppin' Out.
While other organizations were working outdoors, the Vietnamese Student Association was playing bingo. Residents at St. Catherine's, a local nursing home, shared their bingo cards and life stories with student volunteers.
"We learned a lot about their lives and they gave us interesting details. It was neat to hear about the places they traveled to and things they did," said Kristine Huynh, Houston freshman and VSA community service chair.
Caritas is another organization in town that has a history with Steppin' Out. American Marketing Association, Mu Phi Epsilon, and Graduate Business Association students tackled three thrift stores and the food warehouse to sort clothes, sweep, paint and weed last weekend. Linda Parker, a floating manager for Caritas, said she has worked at Caritas four years and looks forward to working with Steppin' Out volunteers each semester.
"When Steppin' Out comes, they really help out a lot. They are hard¡working young people, and I enjoy them every year," Parker said. "The students that came Saturday even asked if they could come back and do more service for us."