Service Committee: Expanding the Neighborhood
The mission of the Service Committee is to encourage an environment of joyful service within the HRC. We seek to embody Christ by pursuing a service-led lifestyle by meeting the needs of our neighbors in the HRC and our greater community locally and globally.
This plays out in various tangible ways:
- Multiple times a week, we join with our friends in East Waco at a local middle school where we tutor children, get to know their families, and have an enjoyable afternoon playing with them.
- Students at the HRC can serve at Waco's Waco Family Medicine to help connect patients to legal services--thus engaging in a holistic view of medicine, community life, and public health.
- The HRC has a deep commitment to the people of Central and South America. The HRC has committed to focusing our spring break mission trip on the people of these regions, whether an international trip in which students travel with faculty and staff to do research and service with the people of Guatemala or a domestic service-learning trip to San Antonio to work with Refugees. The goal of this ongoing project is to support and empathize with the people of Central and South America through supportive partnerships with local or international organizations.
Through these initiatives, we hope to extend the work of the HRC beyond the four physical floors of the Honors Residential College buildings into the Waco community and beyond to the rest of the world.
Local Education Opportunities
The Honors Residential College proudly partners with local leaders to serve as tutors in an after-school program with ACE (Afterschool Centers for Education). Our student volunteers mentor sixth to eighth grade students both academically and personally, growing in friendship with the students of the Waco community. In addition, the HRC has begun to partner with Waco ISD libraries. HRC students are planning and running various learning activities for elementary school library sessions, spreading a love of learning and reading into the Waco public schools.
Waco Family Medicine
Students in the HRC are able to participate in our community partnership with Waco's Waco Family Medicine, an organization devoted to providing the highest quality healthcare to Wacoans. HRC residents interested in healthcare or related professions are able to serve doctors, nurses, other medical staff, and patients of the Family Health Center in weekly commitments at the local clinic.
The Cove is a teen nurturing center designed to provide a safe space for students experiencing homelessness to access the resources they need to thrive. Homelessness is a major crisis in Waco and volunteering with The Cove is a great way to step outside of the “Baylor Bubble” and lend a helping hand in the community. Student volunteers at the HRC mentor students and serve as a consistent source of encouragement. The Service Committee organizes a few large group service events throughout the semester such as a food drive or helping with COVE events.
One Time Service Projects
- Cleaning the Brazos River
- Packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child
- Painting Christmas Ornaments for children in hospice
- Volunteering at the Baylor Farmer’s Market
- Painting the walls of the safe house for SHE is Freedom, a shelter for trafficking survivors
- Writing letters of encouragement to the Baylor and Waco community during COVID
- Partnering with the Straw to Bread program on the Nyakach Plateau in southern Kenya, which was started by Dr. Lisa Baker to provide medical care to and continue a friendship with the people of the Nyakach Plateau.
Latin American Partnership - Spring Break Mission Trip
For many decades now, Central America's Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala) has been beset by poverty and violence. Beginning with the civil wars and struggles for liberation in the 1970s and 1980s, these countries have faced an onslaught of dictatorships, street gangs, and economic upheavals. Currently, there is a refugee crisis in the countries of Central and South America. Given the intertwined realities of North, Central, and South America, the Honors Residential College seeks to partner with the nations of Latin America.
As a part of this initiative, the Honors Residential College partnered with Orphan's Heart in 2017,an international childcare program dedicated to providing “Christ-centered services to orphans and other children and families in need throughout the developing world in order to meet their physical, spiritual, emotional and medical needs” (Orphan’s Heart Mission Statement).
In 2018, the HRC formed a partnership with Potter's House, an organization that strives to "walk alongside the poor in Guatemala" (Potter's House Mission Statement). A team of Honors Residential College residents went on a spring break mission trip with Potter’s House during spring break of 2018 to Guatemala City, Guatemala.
In 2019, the HRC has partnered in prayer and service with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition, "a faith-based movement meeting the changing needs of asylum seekers, refugees and at-risk immigrants in collaboration with others" (Interfaith Welcome Coalition Mission Statement). During spring break, the HRC continued our engagement with the people of the Northern Triangle through a trip to San Antonio with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition engaging with refugees from the Southern United States border.
Most recently, in 2020 the HRC had the opportunity to partner with One More Child, an organization that “exist[s] to change the lives of children and families through Christ-centered services” (One More Child Mission Statement). During spring break, a team was able to travel to Bogotá, Colombia with One More Child and organized a VBS for children from Bogotá and refugee children from Venezuela.
Even though not all are given the opportunity to go to these countries and serve, our work with Latin America is a community effort that we are committed to as a Christ-centered community that fosters the love of God, love of neighbor, and love of learning.