By Taylor Baker
Barton students gave back to the community during homecoming week on Wednesday Oct. 21 as they took part in Day of Service activities.
Jared Tice, dean of students, said that having Day of Service during homecoming week is a great way to give back to the community after having dedicated the rest of the week to hosting events for Barton students and alumni.
A total of 930 students gathered in center campus at 8 a.m. to grab breakfast, meet up with their assigned groups, and to hear instruction from the Chaplain Jamie Eubanks.
Eubanks dismissed each group, instructing each of them to go to their separate sites that were located either on campus or in the Wilson community.
The students were sent to a variety of places, some of which were in walking distance from the campus. The sites located farther from campus required a project leader to drive the students to the destination.
The Lady Bulldog Volleyball team was dispatched to St. Terese church, where each player contributed to the landscape of the church property by raking and distributing mulch to flowerbeds.
The science club travelled to the Educational Forest, located near Wilson Community College, to clear out the weeds that took root in the wooded area and to add wooden signs identifying the plants.
One group of students helped at the Community Soup Kitchen by doing yard work and also preparing meals for the homeless at lunch.
Another group helped the Imagination Station organize and get rid of old items that were no longer necessary to keep.
The groups that stayed on campus dedicated their time to planting flowers and adding fresh pine straw to the flower beds.
Some students were sent to other local locations such as schools, churches, parks, nursing homes, homeless shelters and various other facilities. A few of the specific locations were Wells Elementary School, The Spot, Imagination Station, Hope Station, and Lake Wilson.
Though Day of Service particularly was populated by students, faculty members also took part in the event. Dr. Doug Searcy, Barton president, spent some time at St. Terese helping transport mulch to flower beds. Other faculty members were on different locations working alongside students.
Each volunteer could be seen representing Barton in a blue t-shirt with white letters streaming across the back that read, “Day of Service.” The words “Barton College” were printed just below.
“Anytime that you send 930 students, faculty and staff wearing Barton blue out into the community I think it’s a good day,” said Tice.
Blue shirts populated the Barton area as many students participated in cleaning up the surrounding areas of campus. Volunteers picked up trash off the sides of the road on Whitehead Drive and nearby regions.
The four hour shift ended at 1 p.m. as the students headed back to campus for lunch in the dining hall.
Sophomore Wendy Ramirez served at the Wilson Assisted Living with BCANS and looks forward to serving again. She said, “Serving was a great experience for me. As soon as we walked in, people were smiling and thankful that we were there to help them. Connections were made between students and even some patients in the halls. I look forward to doing it again.”
Tice said, “We are very happy with the work that our students did. We are very happy with the variety of choices they had on and off campus, and we are already looking forward to next year’s day of service.”