Record Number Participates in Biannual Day of Service
by Angela Best, student newswriter, (254) 710-1961
A record number of students and community organizations participated in Steppin' Out, Baylor University's biannual service day. Three thousand students and 80 student and community organizations worked together to serve in various locations throughout the Waco community.
The mission of Steppin' Out is to enhance student involvement in community service with the hopes of attaining community awareness, interaction and collaboration between Baylor and the Waco community.
"Service is a lifestyle, and our hope is that students walk away from Steppin' Out with a desire to continue to serve the community," said Andrew Ginakis, Steppin' Out steering committee member.
Steppin' Out participants were placed throughout the community and painted houses, planted gardens, cleaned creeks and worked with various Waco agencies, such as CARITAS food pantry, Compassion Ministries, Waco Center for Youth, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Piper Child Development Center and the Waco Family Abuse Center.
Kappa Chi Alpha Christian Social/Service Sorority combined with Phi Kappa Chi and Delta Delta Delta to paint a Waco resident's home as well as to clean up her yard.
"We trimmed trees, tore down dog houses, raked leaves, pulled weeds, swept the deck and picked up trash," said Kaley Eggers, Kappa Chi Alpha service chair. "It was a lot of work, but we really enjoyed doing it.
"Our resident's name was Jan, and I talked to her a bit beforehand and she said she couldn't imagine having so many people helping her."
Following the service work, Baylor students and community members joined together for a celebration on the Baylor campus where all received a catered meal free of charge, and students and community members joined together to play volleyball and soccer, among other activities.
"We are very grateful for the work provided to us by this great group of students - thank you," said one of the community organizations that was served.
Steppin' Out is one of the largest community service projects on American college campuses and is nationally recognized for its commitment to service.
"As students at Baylor University, we have been blessed with so much; taking one afternoon to help someone in need is one of the many ways we can use the gifts we've been given," Eggers said. "Mark Twain once said, 'The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.'
"I agree so greatly with that statement - serving someone by doing something as simple as raking leaves brings joy not only to them, but to the server as well. Steppin' Out presents a great opportunity for Baylor students to share Christ's love with others, and it is well worth it."