Pepperdine Volunteer Center
Step Forward Day: Then and Now
Step Forward Day began in 1988 from the vision of two students who recognized the need for volunteers in the local community and wanted to share their passion for service with their peers. The projects began as small acts of service--repairs on homes of local senior citizens or planting gardens at Webster Elementary.
Today, over 20 years later, the reach of Step Forward Day has grown to include over 60 community organizations spanning from Ventura County to Downtown Los Angeles and involves 1,400 students, staff, and faculty members as well as alumni chapters across the nation and internationally. During this one day, the Pepperdine community serves a collective 4,200 hours (equivalent of two years work for one person).
Amidst our growth, the founding vision for this event remains true. Step Forward Day is a simple yet significant way for the Pepperdine community to be a neighbor and to participate in our mission and calling. It is a great way to start the year out right, the chance to make new friends, and to prepare oneself to "step forward" for the rest of the year.
Step Forward Day Reflections:
- "By a simple task of mixing dirt and soil for a garden, we helped create a place for the whole community to enjoy."
- "This experience gave me a chance to find out the value of volunteering. I enjoyed the service and hope that the kids appreciate our efforts."
- "I really enjoyed this experience. I was blessed by a little seven year old girl named April who showed me no matter what social circumstance you are in, there is still great joy in life. I admire her."
- "This day was a chance for me to see the realities of poverty right here in L.A. The openness of the people inspired me to want to reach out more and help these people on a regular basis."
- "Many questions. There's so much need and we just got free t-shirts. Did any of us need them? Still, it's good to get us out there, even if it does take a bribe."
- "I love the idea that even though I did a little, 1,200 people also did a little today and together we did a lot. I'm proud of my school!"
- "It was a really fun and relaxing time & I enjoyed gardening. The people really appreciated us helping out with a less than glamorous job."
- "Step Forward Day gave me a chance to get to connect with the kids in my dorm."
- "Step Forward Day helped me see what a great place the Boy's and Girl's Club is. It also showed me how a little help can go a long way."