A Georgia Baptist Institution
September 19, 2013 - Donning white aprons and plastic gloves, Shorter University students in Tyler Watkins’ freshman seminar class helped serve about 150 of Rome’s hungry and homeless residents at the Community Kitchen last week.
The class of 10 freshmen was at the Community Kitchen on Calhoun Avenue as part of its service learning project, which every freshman at the university must complete. Watkins’ class was the first to serve and will be followed by other freshman seminar classes.
Shorter students will volunteer each Wednesday through Nov. 20, as part of Shorter’s mission of transforming lives through Christ.
“By allowing freshmen the chance to be the hands and feet of Christ in our local community, we hope to be an agent of transformation in their own lives as they act out their faith and be an agent of change in our community by serving it,” First Year Experience Coordinator Gina Floyd said.
“Our role as Christians is to serve others, not just ourselves,” Watkins said. “They’re not here just to get a grade; they’re here to understand that even though we all have selfish desires, it’s not about you all the time.”
As patrons lined up outside, students uncovered large aluminum pans filled with donated pasta and bread from Provino’s Italian Restaurant. Others washed dishes and helped sign in each person who needed a meal.
“I’m from this area and had no idea there were this many people in Rome who were going hungry,” he said. “It’s been eye-opening to work here, and it has made me a better person. I hope that it has the same effect on these students today.”
As he served lunch, Shorter student Matthew Ray was struck by how friendly each person who worked at the Community Kitchen was to those receiving a free meal. There were plenty of smiles and “good afternoons” to go around.
“People nowadays judge all the time,” he said. “Everyone there was treated equally, and I appreciated that. It just felt right. I know I need to give back because I’ve been given so much in my life."
“We accept everyone who walks through those doors. If they’re here, they need it. We’re glad to provide a meal to them,” he said.
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christian university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its list of best value and best Southeastern Colleges. Shorter University is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Shorter offers traditional bachelor’s degree program in 48 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and four master’s programs. Shorter is online at www.shorter.edu.
| SHORTER UNIVERSITY • 315 Shorter Avenue • Rome, Georgia 30165 • Phone: 800-868-6980 • www.shorter.edu
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