Andrews University Prepares for Change Day 2018

   Campus News | Posted on August 29, 2018

On Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, Andrews University will hold its second annual Change Day. University faculty, staff and students will collaborate with over 75 local volunteer sites in seven neighborhoods and two counties to give back to the community.

Project sites include the YMCA in Niles, Habitat for Humanity, the Therapeutic Riding Center, Curious Kids Museum and the Area Agency on Aging. Among other tasks, participants will wash windows, remove brush, clean buildings, paint and interact with area students.

“Last year we had an amazing turnout of over 1,500 faculty, staff and students who served in the local community,” says Teela Ruehle, who coordinates Change Day and serves as assistant director of service & missions. “This year we are excited to be working with more organizations in our community. It’s an honor to be able to give back to communities and organizations that have supported our students and worked alongside Andrews University for years. We are anticipating an even bigger turnout of students, staff and faculty who want to serve.”

Change Day developed out of Andrews University’s mission to “Seek Knowledge. Affirm Faith. Change the World.” The first Change Day was held on September 14, 2017. Classes were cancelled to encourage involvement in the event, and participants worked at 63 sites around Berrien County. Projects ranged from painting a mural in a school to cleaning beach areas and parks to offering hundreds of high school students information about career choices. Those impacted by Change Day were appreciative of the results.

“Change Day did just that—it changed the outcome of our year,” says Valerie Vincent of Pete’s U-Pick farm. “The group made short work of a grueling task crucial to our livelihood. They graciously lent helping hands and, more importantly, a hand up. I was relieved, thankful, hopeful and blessed. Change Day is a rewarding program for everyone involved. I am truly grateful.”

Participants also found great value in the experience. Kareen Nathan, a student at Andrews, says, “This made me realize that volunteer service is something that is highly valued in the Andrews community. The kind of work that we were signing up for was certainly not easy. In fact, a lot of it was hard and exhausting labor. Yet, the fact that we were doing it for a purpose was probably what kept us going. Looking back, I can see that Change Day truly made a difference….I hope that Change Day will be a tradition at Andrews University that always reminds us of the importance of serving others.”

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