SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KOLR) — Churches have always been a part of disaster relief all over the Country.
Whether it’s natural disasters, crime or violence, there are always church members who want to help.
That’s what a local University teaming up with Convoy of Hope is hoping to do.
Starting with their first day of orientation spent volunteering for the community.
Evangel University students teamed up with Convoy of Hope and packed 5,000 bags of groceries for service Saturday afternoon.
“So every year our new students move in on a Friday, and part of new student orientation is getting them right out into the community to serve,” said Donna Washburn, a professor at Evangel University.
Washburn said almost 300 students were at 13 sites volunteering and 75 of them were at Convoy of Hope.
“We are putting together boxes, bags full of groceries that we are sending all over the world, all over the country,” said Margaret Kelly, a freshman at Evangel University.
“Service is a huge part of the evangel university community,” Nathan Oakley, a junior at Evangel University explained, “the mission statement, who we are as Christians as well, we are supposed to be a service to our community, to our nation.”
Both students said they enjoy volunteering.
“I love the community, I love my fellow students, so really part of it is that team building,” Kelly said, “becoming a part of Evangel, it’s sort of like initiation in a way.”
And part of that building process includes the University’s “Center for Compassion,” a curriculum for all students starting next year.
“The center for compassion mission and vision is to help all of the Evangel community to embrace, comprehend and live out a theology of compassion,” said Washburn.
Right now, it’s a way for students to get used to public service and outreach.
“I want every student that comes through this campus to know how to help others, bottom line,” said Washburn, “Christians have been called into service since the days of Christ. He is the ultimate role model and example to us of how to reach the vulnerable and the oppressed.”
This is the first of many partnerships Convoy of Hope wants to create in the future.
The idea is for the church to create working relationships with various organizations around the country for times of disaster.