News and Events
Pepperdine Served the Community on 18th Annual Step Forward Day
Pepperdine University's largest service event, Step Forward Day, was held Sept. 9, 2006. For 18 years, Pepperdine University has been committed to beginning each school year with a day of service to communities around the nation. Each year, students, faculty, staff, and alumni gather to help over 50 non-profit organizations, schools, churches, and parks in their respective communities. Some of these non-profits include: Malibu Creek State Park, Santa Monica Mountain Trails, LA Food Bank, Faith in Christ Ministries, and Watts Labor Community Action Committee.
This year, Step Forward Day participants included 1282 Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff members. The volunteers gave their time to take part in a variety of service projects that benefit non-profit organizations spanning from Ventura County to Downtown Los Angeles. This day of service is integral in helping students see the value of serving a meal in a soup kitchen, planting a tree in our local mountains or elementary school, reading a book to a child, lending a helping hand to a teacher, or cleaning up a local park. In one day, Pepperdine students, staff, and faculty gave more than 3,846 hours of service to the city of Los Angeles and the State of California.
Second year Step Forward Day volunteer and Seaver College sophmore, Ashley Ross, comments, "I think it's a good chance to volunteer with your friends at a school-wide event. You don't really see what's going on in Malibu, this gives me a chance to put things into perspective."
This year, Pepperdine alumni had the unique opportunity to bring this great tradition to their own communities, and alumni nationwide “stepped forward” to help. The Seattle Waves worked to paint and repair the Roland Residence, home of long-time Seattle residents who are unable to do the job themselves. In Denver, the “Mile High” Waves engaged in a morning of service at the World Vision Gifts-In-Kind Center, sorting and packing donated products for people in need throughout the world.
Alumni throughout California spent their Saturday giving back to their local communities. Alumni in San Diego and the Bay Area gathered for beach clean-ups, while the Los Angeles Chapter cleaned classrooms, garden, and aid teachers at John L. Webster Elementary School in Malibu. The Orange County Waves collected donations for St. Jude Children's Hospital, and alumni in Ventura County helped prepare the foundation for the Pepperdine Habitat for Humanity House in Oxnard.
Step Forward Day is at its simplest, just one day of volunteering. However, volunteers have found that for many this is the beginning of a longer journey on which they learn how to give their strengths, talents, and gifts back to their communities. Participating in the Pepperdine spirit of service, volunteers continue the tradition of Step Forward Day, reflecting a commitment that lasts beyond this single day of service.