Students show selflessness in community outreach.
Every year the Johnson University student body participates in a campus wide event known as K-day. This year hundreds of the students fanned out across the Knoxville area to help various organizations. The students and faculty involved performed various tasks and worked to make the university a presence in the Knoxville community.
The Johnson University student body participated in a service event to aid many organizations in a community outreach Sept. 17.
K-14 carries on a tradition started by the students in the Student Government Association (SGA), in response to the National Service Day created after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The event was designed to reach people in the local community and to give a helping hand to ministries in the area.
According to Carrie Overdorf, the Service Learning Coordinator at Johnson University, the initial reaction to the event was a positive one with a growing number of organizations wishing to participate with the University.
“We really do want to impact the community”, Overdorf said. “The university wishes to be a presence in the community to share the love of Christ where we have the chance, but mostly to help those organizations that need extra help.”
The students traveled all across the greater Knoxville area to aid more than thirty organizations that had wished to participate in the event. “This year hopefully we’ll get more faculty involved,” Overdorf said.
In previous years no faculty had been present on sight to work with the students. Overdorf said that there was a difficulty this year with accommodating all the students, as the university itself has experienced an influx of students.
“There was a possibility of moving the service day to another time of year, to help free up time for those involved because the fall can be a busy time for both students and faculty,” Overdorf said.
“We provide quality work,” she said. “We are dependable and we are doing it because we love what they (organizations) are doing and are invested in it as well.”
Students often continue to volunteer with the organizations they serve on K-day throughout the year. The event opens gateways for students to become involved with the community and learn testimonies of the people they serve.
Chrissi Newbold, a student who participated in K-14, served at Live It, a non-profit working to bring the Bible to people everywhere.
“It’s actually a really cool organization,” she said. “It started out as a group of people who went and did huge service projects kind of like things we are doing for K-14, but they would do it for widows and orphans and the public.”
“It’s really nice to be able give back to them”.
This day of helping others will continue in the coming year with K-15 being the new title of the event with hopes of even more students and faculty helping the community of Knoxville.