Town-gown partnership impacts Radford and Fairlawn communities
Radford University partnered with local faith-based organizations on Oct. 1 for the Operation Inasmuch Day of Service.
Operation Inasmuch is a national nonprofit that employs proven models to motivate, train and equip churches to move more congregants out of the sanctuary seats and into the streets to serve those in need.
In Fairlawn and Radford, RU joined 17 local churches in completing a variety of service projects, including food and clothing drives, a free car wash and car clinic, laundry assistance and a brush and large-item pick-up. Volunteers also traveled to the homes of dozens of community members at which they raked and bagged leaves, cleaned gutters, washed windows, trimmed shrubbery and painted, among other maintenance duties.
Valerie Johnson, a pre-business major, volunteered at Fairview Nursing Home where she played bingo with the residents.
"If I could experience the happiness I was given by seeing the residents play bingo and interact with people other than the ones they see daily, I would be the happiest person in the world," Johnson said. "Overall, this experience gave me a better understanding of how much volunteering could truly impact someone's life or situation."
Freshman Sarahbeth Roberts, a double major in theatre and psychology, helped paint the ceiling of a local resident's home.
"The woman whose home we were working in was sweet, and I'm so glad I met her," Roberts said. "This project gave me an opportunity to meet people not on campus or in my own church who were also interested in service."
Sarah Underwood works in RU's Office of Financial Reporting. Her daughter, Jamie, is a local high school student, and Underwood said she chose to volunteer because "it is important to help the community, and I wanted my daughter to learn the importance of community service."
Underwood spent the day at the Women's Resource Center Warehouse organizing and loading furniture donations.
"I had a great feeling at the end of the day and really felt that our time spent would make a difference for a family who needed help," she said.
Assistant Director for Greek Life Robert Marias, who coordinated RU's participation in the day of service, said about 60 RU representatives volunteered.
"I'm very proud of the Radford University family, once again, stepping up to serve the community," Marias said. "Our students and staff connected and formed relationships with many in the Fairlawn and Radford communities, and I know the experience will have a lasting impact on all of the volunteers."