Baylor Steps Out to Volunteer April 9

April 7, 2011

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Steppin' Out, Baylor University's biannual day of service, will take place Saturday, April 9, at various locations throughout the Waco community.

The event, sponsored by the Baylor department of student activities, enhances student involvement in community service, as well as collaboration between the Baylor and Waco community.

This semester, more than 2,600 Baylor students, faculty and staff have registered to volunteer at locations throughout Waco, many of which are local nonprofit organizations and residences in need of gardening and lawn maintenance or painting.

"I think Steppin' Out is important at Baylor because it is literally a day where we can 'step out'--out of our neighborhood, out of our normal Saturday routine and maybe even out of our comfort zone to serve others," said Lindsey Warner, public relations representative of the Steppin' Out Steering Committee.

Volunteers will garden and pull weeds at Waco's Family Abuse Center, as well as help residents with odd jobs around their property.

"This year, there are a couple of sites that have cool stories tied with them, such as a single mom needing an exterior paint job on her house, and lawn maintenance and digging a hole for a basketball hoop in the yard of a home where two blind children live, one of whom is celebrating his ninth birthday on the day of Steppin' Out this Saturday," Warner said.

Warner said this semester there are a lot more job sites at local homes, which is good because volunteers like to see who they are helping and residents love having them.

"Baylor is such a unique Christian university with passionate college students who are constantly out saving the world, which is awesome, but sometimes we forget that there are people down the street from us in Waco that could also benefit from an act of service," Warner said. "Steppin' Out is also cool because this could be someone's first opportunity to get a chance to participate in a service project, and they could see how important helping other people is and that could influence the rest of their lives."

The first Steppin' Out was held in the spring of 1985 and was a full week of events leading up to the big day of service. In 1989, the project became a one-day event occurring in fall and spring semesters. By 1993, it was chartered as an independent organization under the department of student activities. It is one of the largest community service projects on American college campuses and is nationally recognized for its commitment to service.

For more information, visit http://www.baylor.edu/studentactivities/service/index.php?id=75327, or contact the Steppin' Out Steering Committee at (254) 710-3199.

by Katy McDowall, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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