More than 400 students at Oklahoma Baptist University, including freshmen, transfers and upperclassmen, as well as faculty and staff, spent Monday morning, Aug. 20, serving the Shawnee community. The army of volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got to work all around town. The effort was part of OBU’s annual Serve Shawnee event, held the Monday before the fall semester begins.
The students served at 24 locations around the community, working at places such as Shawnee Nature Center, Cargo Ranch, Community Renewal/Friendship House, the Shawnee Early Childhood Center, Mission Shawnee, the Japanese Peace Garden and more.
Serve Shawnee began in 2001 to show OBU students they can make an important difference in their community. Each new class of students, including both freshman and transfer students, goes out for three hours to different locations around Shawnee. They are led by upperclassmen and staff members, as they participate in a variety of projects including picking up trash, painting, cleaning, pulling weeds at local care facilities and schools, and much more.
The Serve Shawnee project is part of Welcome Week, a time devoted to making new friends, learning about OBU traditions and participating in fun activities during the lead-up to classes. Students meet in small groups, participate in community service projects, compete in “Ka-Rip Wars” as they learn the school yell, and participate in The Walk as they officially join the Bison family.