Adventist school students, staff, and faculty reach out to area residents.
On September 13, 2018, Andrews University, a Seventh-day Adventist institution located in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, held its second annual Change Day, a day dedicated to community service. Approximately 1,400 Andrews University faculty, staff, and students worked at 70 sites across seven neighborhoods and two counties.
Andrews classes were canceled, and many offices were closed until 3:00 p.m. to give the campus community an opportunity to join in service. Participants gathered at 9:00 a.m. on the Andrews flag mall to eat breakfast and have worship before traveling to their project sites.
“It’s great to feel a part of something so big as Change Day, where we know we’re making a difference in the community and being changed ourselves,” said School of Education executive assistant to the dean Vicki Wiley. “Seeing hundreds of faculty, staff, and students all over the flag mall at Andrews all wearing the same shirts is empowering!”
Wiley added that as they headed to their places of service, they felt “like … an army of people serving God in practical ways.”
Project sites included the YMCA in Niles, the Curious Kids Museum, Habitat for Humanity, the Eau Claire District Library, Shamrock Park, and the Benton Harbor Public Library. Tatiana Correa, a second-year Master of Divinity student at Andrews University, coordinated a group of 25 volunteers, who led diversity training for second- and third-graders at the Hull International Academy in Benton Harbor, Michigan. “We talked about what diversity meant, where we came from, and the beauty of being different,” she said. “Their smiles and interesting questions made the day fun and one to remember.”
Other participants completed a variety of tasks including cleaning headstones at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles; shoveling out animal stalls at the Berrien County Youth fairgrounds; cleaning out the storage facility and packing donated food at God’s Abundant Food Pantry; and helping in the classrooms at Mars Elementary School. Some also washed windows, removed undergrowth, picked up trash, organized classrooms, and painted buildings.