Posts Tagged ‘volunteer’

Service with a smile: Students build friendships off campus

A cloudy sky and thin veil of rain greeted more than 130 Multnomah University students as they left campus to participate in Day of Outreach on September 23.

Once every spring and fall, students volunteer at several locations in the Portland community in need of their time and energy. A volunteer site can be anywhere: a nonprofit organization, a school, a community center. Even a neighbor's home. MU cancels classes for the day so students can devote their whole morning to service.

OutreachFall2014_1"Now we get to give"

The living room at ElderPlace Laurelhurst, a care facility for seniors on Glisan Street, is a bright space filled with round tables where students talk and laugh with elderly men and women over cups of juice and coffee. Colorful flags hang from the ceiling and a giant white teddy bear looks down from an old piano.

Senior Olivia Morud is chatting with Phyllis, a curly-haired woman with blotchy hands and tiny glasses. The two have just finished playing a card game. Morud, an English major from Scappoose, Ore., says she loves being able to listen. "They have so much to say, so many stories," she says. "As students, we are given so much in the classroom. Now we get to give."

Volunteering is important, she says, because Jesus was a servant. "He would be doing this if he was here today," she says."It's close to his heart."

OutreachFall2014_2"A real picture of the Gospel"

Volunteers at Harrison Park School on 87th Avenue, their shoes caked with soil, are constructing a community garden. Some students build raised garden beds while others clear away debris and pull weeds.

Freshman Kimberly Marshburn and junior Maggi Schlosser are filling a garden bed with dirt. Marshburn, a Bible and theology major from Bakersfield, Calif., has been attending MU for only a month, but she's excited to serve the community so soon.

"I was talking to some students the other day who were concerned that we'd become secluded at MU," she says. "But this day shows me that we're living what we say we are. School is the practice zone and then we get to go out and live life together. It's a real picture of the gospel."

"A desire to serve"

OutreachFall2014_4Just a few blocks from campus, senior Cory Howatt is starting a lawnmower in front of a small pink house. Dotty, an wispy woman with hunched shoulders and worn moccasins, looks over her property.

"I've lived in this house for 66 years," she says. "My husband died 30 years ago, and this yard is too much for me to keep up." She smiles. "You guys have been coming to see me for a long time now."

Several volunteer sites, including those featured in this story, are permanent fixtures on the sign-up sheet. That way, students can nurture
friendships over time.

OutreachFall2014_3Howatt, a pastoral ministry major from Koloa, Hawaii, says the day shows people who Christ is through students' service. "Who we get to work with is the best part," he says. "I get to meet people like Dotty."

"We serve out of a desire to serve," he adds. "We may not benefit from any compensation, but we benefit from building relationships."

Students Skip Class to Serve Portland

A blue sky and sunshine greeted more than 130 Multnomah University students as they left campus to participate in Day of Outreach on April 14.

Once every spring and fall, students volunteer at several locations in the Portland community, including nonprofits, nursing homes, schools and community centers. MU cancels classes for the day so students can devote their whole morning to service.

‘Get a different perspective’

Chris Cleaverdayofoutreach_492, a full-time counselor at Multnomah, led a group of students to Door to Grace, a Portland nonprofit providing restorative care and safe shelter for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. The day home needed some TLC, so students took Windex to mirrors, vacuums to rugs and push brooms to sidewalks. Freshman Johanna Quezada carefully watered the small boxwood trees that stood in a line near the front door.

“This is definitely a cool opportunity,” said the TESOL major. “I love hearing about the different ministries here in Portland. My world can get so small because I live and work on campus, so it’s good to get outside and get a different perspective. We’re at MU for more than just time in the classroom.”

Olivia Botsford agreed. As she wiped the kitchen counters with a washcloth, the psychology major talked about how she appreciates a day devoted to helping neighbors. “We’re not just focused on getting our degrees,” she said. “We want to serve and be in the community, loving people in the real world.”

‘Be a light’

dayofoutreach_501Dean of Students Jon Mathis and Psychology Department Chair Dr. Elliott Lawless joined another group of students volunteering at Drive Away Hunger, the home of Portland Rescue Mission’s vehicle donation and sales program. The men took on yard work, sweeping, raking and cleaning and organizing the auto shop.

Danny Kugelburg, Community Partnership Lead at Drive Away Hunger, leaned against a blue Chevy as he explained the impact of volunteering. “You might not have direct contact with the people we’re helping, but what you’re doing is changing lives,” he said. “We’re a nonprofit that survives solely on the gift of volunteers.”

Kugelburg is an M.Div. student at Multnomah Seminary, so he’s familiar with the school’s  mission. But watching it come to life in the auto shop is inspiring. “Multnomah has a desire for its students not to be insulated, but to be a light in the community — in voice and in deed,” he said.

‘Actively love’

dayofoutreach_534At the Montavilla Community Center, Multnomah students sat at tables piled high with paper plates and colorful ribbons to craft decorations for the center’s upcoming Easter celebration. Sophomore Edwin Granados carefully cut the plates into half moon shapes as he spoke with fellow volunteers. The music major is on the student-led Day of Outreach planning committee and was in charge of promoting the event this season.

Granados said he loves the opportunity to branch out of the University and into the surrounding community. “It’s one of my favorite things to do,” he said. “Our planning committee had a vision — that students could actively love in a way that will last beyond today. I hope this will be a kickoff for people to begin serving more frequently.”

Besides MU's two annual Day of Outreach events, MU students provide more than 100,000 hours of service to the community each year through the University's Student Ministries program

How have you been impacted by volunteer work? Share your thoughts below.

Students Volunteer At Aid Banquet

Comments Off Written on March 26th, 2010 by
Categories: Alumni, Financial Aid, General, Students

This is a follow-up post to the 2010 Student Aid Banquet.
***

March 6 AJ Volunteers 1Over the years of having our Student Aid Banquets, we've been really blessed to have so many students volunteer. Without their help, the donors would not have as good a time and the night would not be possible! Some of the tasks they help out with include:

  • Setting up the day before
  • Greeting and welcoming guests
  • Personally escorting them to the registration table
  • Assisting them in the parking lot
  • Sharing their story with donors
  • Coat check
  • Ushering to seats
  • Gathering Multnomah materials after banquet
  • Bringing materials back to Multnomah and unloaded van

Student Organized

This year Bible College Junior AJ Elzinga (3rd from left, image above) recruited 16 fellow students to volunteer at our Student Aid Banquet on March 6th.  AJ did this last year and it was a huge hit.  They all came on time, dressed "to the nines", had a lot of fun, and really connected with our donors. Donors commented afterwards how nice it was to be greeted and assisted by students.

Here's what AJ had to say about why he got involved:

“It is important for student volunteers to help with the Student Aid Banquet because it provides us with an opportunity to be servants to our school. Multnomah has blessed each and every one of us by providing a quality Biblical education that we will use for the rest of our lives. I believe that we are blessed to be a blessing and that we can help our school raise support for future students to be blessed by simply giving some of our time to show donors what Multnomah is really all about: raising up and sending out servant leaders in the image of Jesus. Growing up in the midst of a generation that struggles deeply with cynicism, and a negative attitude towards authority after being burned so many times, it is a privilege to support the leadership of our school and to demonstrate the difference that Multnomah has made in each of our lives."

Thank you for your kind words, AJ. And thank YOU to all of the students who chipped in - you are truly a huge reason why we do what we do!

Congratulations Roger!

3 comments Written on January 16th, 2009 by
Categories: General

Roger PorretWe posted a little bit ago about Roger Porret, our faithful volunteer, when we were writing about tradition. You tend to shape the culture a bit when you have been around as long as he has. We celebrated Roger's 30th anniversary on Thursday. Roger is a volunteer in the cafeteria at MU and has certainly made an impression.

Roger Porret has had an impact at Multnomah since I was a student. I remember a special chapel when Roger was deputized as the "official" sheriff of Multnomah. His position came with a badge and a bunny blaster. He was thrilled and so was the student body. I was and am thankful to be a part of a school that would take the time to honor a special volunteer like Roger!
-Pam Middleton, MU Alumni and employee

An article from the 1980 Ambassador Magazine -

Article about Roger

We at Multnomah are sure thankful for Roger's spirit and his service. He sets a mighty good example. Here is to thirty years that Roger helped make great. Congratulations!