Serving for a Day

Serving for a Day

Sept. 30, 2013

The Pacific University community braves the rain to give back to the community on the second annual Day of Service.

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On a particularly rainy Saturday, a group of 10 Pacific University students and employees came together to participate in “The Peace Dove Project.” As the rain poured mercilessly outside, the group was busy at work inside the Milky Way creating a giant dove, a symbolic work of art in the shape of the traditional symbol for peace.

The puppet was made from 100 percent recycled materials, such as fabric, bamboo poles and chicken wire. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2014, the giant dove will be flown on Pacific University’s Forest Grove Campus to promote and celebrate a message of peace. The giant dove will also be flown on the International Day of Peace as will thousands of other giant doves created by groups of people around the world.

The Peace Dove Project was one of about 20 volunteer projects that Pacific University students, faculty, staff and community members participated in as part of the second annual Day of Service on Sept. 28, coordinated by the Center for Civic Engagement. This year, roughly 180 people signed up for projects that ranged from small campus cleanups to full-blown habitat restoration projects.

“The Day of Service is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to have a chance to work together in a different way,” said Stephanie Stokamer, director of the Center for Civic Engagement. “The goal is to give back to the community and to have a day that creates a positive impact in many ways throughout Forest Grove and Washington County. It’s a fun and community oriented way to experience civic engagement.”

 Some students who choose to participate in the Day of Service volunteer in order to receive civic engagement credit. Most, however, participate simply to get involved.

“It took me a long time to settle into my first college experience, so I feel that by participating in the Day of Service I will meet a bunch of different people, and that I will feel more involved,” said Elizabeth Long, a transfer student and participant of the Peace Dove Project. “I also see it as a good way to give back to Pacific University and the community.”

Stokamer said she hopes the Day of Service will be seen as a starting point to do more.

 “Projects done on the Day of Service are always a work in progress,” she said. “There is always more that can be done, and community involvement is something that I hope students continue to actively participate in even after the Day of Service is over.”