The long-awaited Change Day finally arrived this past Thursday, Sept. 14, at Andrews University. All morning and early afternoon classes were cancelled in preparation for this campus-wide event. Bright and early, hundreds of students, faculty and staff woke up and conscientiously made a decision to make a difference in their neighboring communities.
By 8:30AM volunteers made their way over to Flag Mall in front of Pioneer Memorial Change where the Change Day kick-off began. Everyone was given a bright green Change Day t-shirt to keep and wear for the day. Students were given options to volunteer for an organization of their choosing. Among the sixty volunteer choices were opportunities ranging from cleaning Silver Beach, painting a mural at the Arts Communication Academy to washing firetrucks and police vehicles at the local station.
The excitement on campus could be felt as volunteers buzzed from tables in every direction signing up for their project of the day. A few moments later, what was once a loud green sea of people quickly became a quiet field as students left to their destinations on buses and cars.
Just like that volunteers spent the next few hours cleaning, painting, organizing and fulfilling their role in their community.
Jose Bourget, Associate Chaplain at Campus Ministries, said “I was excited to see how we were making a change in our community, but I was especially excited about how some of our volunteers themselves were changed.”
As the volunteers returned to campus, there were numerous positive testimonies shared from Change Day.
Julianne Wilkens ( sophomore, nutrition dietetics,) said, “I hope Change Day is something that keeps happening on our campus. I was truly blessed today by being able to get an opportunity to change the community around me. I will never forget today, or how impactful it was for the people I was serving.”
As an implementation of the “Change the World” portion of Andrews University’s motto, Change Day was meant to be a holiday that emphasized Christ’s attitude toward service.
The Provost, Christon Arthur, said “For Change Day we wanted to give the campus an opportunity to fill the social responsibility of giving back to the community. We should have a presence in the lives of those with whom we live with. We want to give those people a chance to know us better and to know that we are here for them and we are here to serve them. Change Day is all about serving humanity.”
When students returned to campus, a debriefing session took place while students ate a lunch provided by the school. Everyone gathered around tables as they fellowshipped and recalled the events of the day. Several people spoke during this time including Lhorraine London Polite, project manager for the provost, and Andrea Luxton, University President.
A slideshow of pictures taken throughout the day at various volunteer posts was put together and showcased to the entire crowd. At the end of the program, a large group photo of all the volunteers was taken before everyone dispersed back to their afternoon scheduled classes. Even though Change Day 2017 is over, faculty, staff and students hope it will continue to live on in the legacy of Andrews University.