Barton students, faculty and staff joined together on Wednesday, Oct. 18, for the 10th annual Day of Service.
Nearly 700 volunteers worked on projects at 39 different sites. Various student organizations, athletic teams, and classes participated alongside faculty and alumni to do service in the community and on campus.
The event kicked off early with breakfast and opening remarks in front of Hardy Alumni Hall. Rev. Jamie Eubanks, organizer and college chaplain, and Dr. Gary Daynes both spoke. Groups then dispersed and were transported to the various sites around Wilson.
Local schools, civic spaces, and assisted-living centers were among many who received time and energy from Barton. The work ranged from landscape improvements to entertaining local senior citizens.
The Day of Service has become a perennial opportunity for Barton to give back to the community.
Dr. Daynes summarized the initiative as beneficial to Bulldogs and Wilsonians alike.
“Barton holds Day of Service each year for three main reasons: to provide much-needed support to neighbors and community organizations in Wilson, to make sure students have the opportunity to learn through service, and to remind ourselves that we all have needs and we all have ways to help others,” said Daynes.
A healthy relationship between “town and gown” is advantageous for everyone according to Daynes,
“Barton’s success depends on Wilson’s well-being,” he said. “Our campus is in Wilson, many of our students are from Wilson, many of our graduates go on to live and work here. Activities like Day of Service, then, are both for the good of the community and for Barton’s own good.”
However, the student experience lies at the heart of the initiative. Service fits the college’s larger goal to educate via “hands-on learning”. The idea of “service learning,” Daynes added, “improves students’ understanding of social issues, strengthens their appreciation for diversity of all sorts, and enhances their sense of self-efficacy–the belief that they can make a difference… and is an important part of any college education.”
By Andrew Hall