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More than 750 mobilize for 51st Tiger Serve Day

By JULIA SHANDS | OBU News Bureau

ARKADELPHIA — The Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community at Ouachita Baptist University held its 51st Tiger Serve Day on Saturday, Sept. 24, with 763 Ouachita students, faculty and staff completing 74 projects at area homes, non-profit organizations and designated trash pickup sites across Arkadelphia. Volunteers represented this semester’s theme, “PurposeTSD.”  

“This theme encompasses so much of the day and all that goes into it,” said Judy Duvall, Elrod Center director. “There is purpose in the practical work that is done throughout our community, in the community that is formed as teams serve together and in the relationships that are formed with the individuals that are helped on that day. Most importantly, there is purpose in living lives that are centered in serving God and people.” 

Volunteers gathered at the Elrod Center at 8:30 a.m. to prepare for their assigned projects. 

“The fact that we have this many volunteers showing up early on a Saturday morning to serve our community demonstrates the high value Ouachita places on service,” Duvall said. “I am proud to be a part of this.” 

Tiger Serve Day volunteers seek to meet practical and relational needs in the community. 

“We are so thankful that we get to connect with some new faces each semester, but there is something very meaningful about the relationships that have been formed and continue to endure with visits to these same people year after year,” said Leigh Anne McKinney, associate director of the Elrod Center. “Serving others repeatedly throughout the course of many years is significant.”   

The Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team shows gratitude for those who sign up to serve. 

“The projects probably wouldn’t get done if our TSD volunteers didn’t do them,” said Wes Guerra, a senior accounting and finance double major from Benton, Ark., and member of the Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team. “A lot of the senior adults don’t have other opportunities to have their work done, whether it be because of disability or inconvenience. TSD provides a huge workforce that can complete a lot of projects efficiently, and there isn’t another group or event that comes close to the production our volunteers can accomplish.” 

“The volunteers’ work shares God’s love with each person they visit,” said Emma Bynum, a senior biology major from Troup, Texas. “From moving trees to painting porches, they are the hands and feet of the Lord and the work done glorifies Him.” 

For more information on Tiger Serve Day and other service opportunities through the Elrod Center, visit www,obu.edu/serve or call (870) 245-5320. 

OBU photos by Sarah Dean

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