Andrews University volunteers serve the community on Change Day. [Anthony Isensee]
The campus-wide event involves students and employees in numerous service projects in the surrounding communities. As part of the event, Andrews will also hold the Change Day Career Exploration Fair for high school students in the Andreasen Center for Wellness.
Change Day began in 2017 as a way to give back to the community and build local relationships. All Andrews University faculty and students are encouraged to participate in Change Day activities. Participant numbers have been increasing since the COVID-19 pandemic ended, with more than 1,100 participants taking part in last year’s Change Day. A similar number of volunteers is expected again this year.
Volunteers will serve the community at 38 locations. Two projects—Career Exploration Fair and Christmas Behind Bars—will be held on campus. The Career Exploration Fair will provide high school juniors and seniors from participating schools with the opportunity to take skills surveys to identify their strengths and match these with career options. Attendees will also have the opportunity to connect with professors to discuss strategic steps they can take in order to pursue their careers. Christmas Behind Bars, which is an ongoing project in collaboration with Pastor Dennis Page, will provide 6,000 care packages and Christmas gifts for people who are incarcerated.
Change Day coordinator Teela Ruehle shares that the University will be working in partnership with several organizations including Rescue Release Repeat and The Center for Homeless, both in South Bend, Indiana. Volunteers will also host social activities for residents of four local assisted living facilities. At another site, volunteers will repair bicycles for local children and provide support for Care for Cuba, a program that raises funds and provides resources for pastors in Cuba. Volunteers will also repaint more than 500 fire hydrants in partnership with the city of St. Joseph, the Michiana Filipino-American Seventh-day Adventist Church and the St. Joseph Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Michigan-based supermarket Meijer will contribute to Change Day by donating breakfast for the many volunteers.
Sara Hamstra, University Communication student writer