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Washington Adventist University Students Provide Daylong Service

Story by Terrance-James Marshall; Photo by Vanessa Castillo
Published 11/1/11

Washington Adventist University’s (WAU) “Gateway to Service” recently opened to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan community, when hundreds of its students participated in special Service Day projects. Led by Aaron Wilson, 14 students worked with Food and Friends, an organization in northeast D.C., that supplies food to terminally ill people. Many of their clients are unable to provide for themselves and sometimes sacrifice food in order to pay for medication.

Jennifer Burnett, Volunteer Services and Community Outreach manager, explained that there was a 55,000 sq.-mile area in which Food and Friends operates. The amount of meals delivered per-year surpasses one million annually, a testimony to the impact of the program.

Wilson described the experience as one filled with a “big sense of unity and service.” “The whole aspect of giving back to the community refers to Jeremiah and Christ’s teaching,” he said. “The experience allowed many of the volunteers to allow their faith coincide with their voluntary work.”

Meanwhile, another group of approximately 30 students worked to clean up the nearby Long Branch Parkway. Dressed in bright red shirts (pictured), students were each given an orange Montgomery Park Trash Bag and working gloves.  Working in groups of 10, they took different trails and picked up trash from the playground and along the creek.

Overall Service Day projects were carried out at Takoma Park Elementary School, Silver Spring Initiative, Food and Friends, Martha's Table, John Nevins Andrews School, Central Union Mission, Sligo Creek, Takoma Park Recreation Department, Tree-mendous on Campus, Tree-mendous on the Creek, Pay it Forward, Capitol Area Food Bank, GE Peters Adventist School, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, City Gardens-Takoma Park and Sligo Adventist School.