News and Events
Pepperdine Students Freely Give for Thanksgiving
With a mission statement like "freely ye received, freely give," students at Pepperdine University find ways to serve those less fortunate all year round, but the Thanksgiving holiday offers an added reason to give back. From building Lego houses for charity, to building a real home for a family, Pepperdine students have stepped up their service this Thanksgiving season.
During the week of November 17-22, the Pepperdine Volunteer Center coordinated events for the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Kicking off the week of events was a Lego House building competition that took place in the student snack shop, The Sandbar. Various representatives from student organizations participated, building model homes out of Lego's and soliciting donations for the best submission. The final total raised was $210.51 for Habitat for Humanity.
All week long, the residence halls on the Malibu campus were challenged to a canned food and blanket drive. The drive brought in 249 canned food items and four blankets, which were donated to the Upward Bound House in Santa Monica. The White Hall donated the most items and residents won a pizza party for their efforts.
Students were also asked to "Fast for a meal," donating their Waves Café points to the Los Angeles Mission. A total of 4,187 points were donated. Also, a total of 195 students attended Chapel services dedicated to homelessness awareness. And additional 17 students attended the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, where they learned about the great wealth disparity facing our world today.
Another very special volunteer event took place Saturday, Nov. 22 in Simi Valley, California, where Pepperdine volunteers were able to dedicate three homes they've been working on all semester with Habitat for Humanity, a national organization that strives to eliminate homelessness by providing affordable housing for impoverished families.
"Throughout the semester, we've had over 100 students, faculty, and alumni volunteer their Saturdays to serve the community," says Kelly Smith, Seaver College sophomore and program coordinator for the Pepperdine Volunteer Center. "The home-owners that the organization chose were three deserving single mothers with three children each."
The homes, which were all built on the same lot, were finished in time for Thanksgiving. "Serving the community can be so crucial during times of Thanksgiving when there are those who are less fortunate than others and have less to be thankful for," says Smith. "It's so great to give back to the community not only on Thanksgiving, but whenever we're handed the opportunity."
Another big service event coordinated by Pepperdine students and staff for the holiday is Thanksgiving Youthfest. Starting on Saturday, Nov. 29, teens from area Churches of Christ will converge on campus for a weekend of spiritual challenge and encouragement.
And what would Thanksgiving be without the preparation of a large meal? The Pepperdine women's basketball team is spending their Thanksgiving afternoon at People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) in West Los Angeles, where they will assist in the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner for homeless individuals throughout Los Angeles County.
For more information on volunteer opportunities at Pepperdine University, contact the Pepperdine Volunteer Center at (310) 506-4143.