DBU's Commitment to Service: A Look Back on 2020-21

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The COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges to Dallas Baptist University this past year. One of these challenges was how DBU could continue to serve locally and globally in the midst of a pandemic. Although at times it has not looked as it always has, DBU has stayed true to our mission of being a Christ-centered University that serves the world beyond our campus for the glory of God.

In both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, DBU has flourished in its mission of service, thanks in large part to the Service-Learning Office. The mission of the Service-Learning Office at Dallas Baptist University is to enhance student learning, foster civic engagement, and develop servant leaders. Students have an array of opportunities to serve both on and off campus. With over 500 DBU community partners, 20 of which were remotely available, DBU students served their community for 110,000 hours in the past year.

Following Missions Emphasis Week, The Global Missions office sponsored the annual Greek Life Gives Back Service Day. Over 100 students from fraternities and sororities at DBU joined together as one to serve the local community. Specifically serving Mission Arlington at their fall festival, they were able to serve hundreds of families while also having fellowship with them through games, food, and prayer.

In the Fall of 2020, the Service Learning Office started SERVE Lunches. SERVE Lunches provide the opportunity for students to learn more about local non-profits while serving alongside them during the lunch hour. This Spring, over 75 students helped serve alongside BridgeBuilders, Buckner International, and Voice of Hope. Through these lunches, students wrote over 200 cards of encouragement, packed over 400 pairs of shoes for children to receive in Kenya, and arranged over 100 activity bags for children in local communities.

During the annual MLK Day of Service, students traveled to Cornerstone Baptist Church to serve alongside Pastor Chris Simmons and his team. Students helped clean and organize the food pantry, organize and sort through donated clothes, and clean out the storage container to make room for new donations. Through their service, DBU students exemplified the body and attitude of Christ as they served the community of South Dallas.

In addition to the many places DBU students served in person, there were 20 opportunities where students served remotely. Letters of encouragement for the homeless, tuck-in calls to patients and families in hospice care, and prayers for first responders were among the many ways students helped serve their community through these remote opportunities.

"As I reflect on the services hours done by DBU students in the midst of the pandemic, I am encouraged by the character and selflessness of our student body," said Jake Murphy, DBU Director of Service Learning. "DBU students continued to be servant leaders in a dark time in history. They served over 110,000 hours in the DFW community and were a light and beacon of hope to those who needed it most. I am proud of our students and proud to be part of the DBU family."

DBU has always been and always will be a Christ-centered university that seeks to serve others as Christ has served us. Our goal in service is to love and care for others, so that they may see the love of Jesus Chris in us and through us. We are thankful for the many ways we have served our community in this past year, and we look forward to continuing our Christ-centered service for the glory of God.
Written by Brooks Anthony

Brooks Anthony writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.