by Kai Bu
Community service is important at Judson because of the Christ-loving Judson community. This year on September 15, 26 Judson women volunteered to clean up flowerbeds at Francis Marion High School and Francis Marion Elementary School alongside students from Marion Military Institute (MMI).
Amy Butler, director of Faith-Based Service and Learning, led participants to Francis Marion High School, where the group met with three cadets under the lead of Col. Passmore and Col. Raczkowski. “Judson/MMI Service Day is a joint effort by both schools to collaborate together in serving our community,” Butler explains. “Projects are identified through an expressed need from community partners. This event allows students from both schools to meet each other and build relationships through service to their college hometowns,” Butler works hard to offer many different community service opportunities where students can join in and serve at anytime in the community.
All participants were divided into two groups. The first group, led by Col. Raczkowski, cleaned up flowerbeds at FMES, and the second group, led by Col. Passmore, cleaned the weeds and grass from flowerbeds at FMHS. After one hour of cleaning, some of the high-schoolers came and helped, finishing the work within another hour.
For freshwomen, this service was their first time working in the Marion community with its members. Alexandra McKay, a freshwoman, shows her compassion to the community where she has spent only two weeks by volunteering not only her time but also her active energy. “When you volunteer the time [that] you could spend studying or hanging out with friends to instead help someone you don’t even know, I think that shows compassion. It’s good to have compassion for the town you live in, especially smaller towns. You’ve got to bloom where you are planted—why not help others do the same?” says McKay. Within a tight college schedule, giving away precious time to a place in need without expectations for something in return is a way of showing love to that community. As a Christian, McKay earnestly explains the importance of participating in community. “God expects you to show the same love that He shows us. It’s only moral to offer your time when you have it. It also keeps us from getting too self-centered. The world is a lot bigger than our next class.”
Erin Brown, SGA VP of Government and graduating senior, also thinks that “it is essential for freshwomen to participate in community service because it teaches them so much about loving others and making sacrifices to support others. Especially as freshwomen, students learn to become a part of something much bigger than themselves, which helps them to adjust to college life away from their families. For me, community service has encouraged me to participate more in the Judson community and has allowed me to grow in my love for others.” Brown herself believes that volunteering in the community provides Christians the opportunity to “directly and openly” share the love of Christ and glorify God through their actions.
Even though some seniors have been participating in this kind of service for their entire tenure at Judson, they still find it special and amazing. Whenever the opportunity comes into their hands they grab it and show meaning of selfless participation to underclassmen. “I have been attending Judson for almost four years, but the community never ceases to amaze me,” says Arienne Borowski, Manager and Tutor of Writing Center and English Club President. “The fact that students of various ethnicities, different ages, and from three different schools can all come together for one purpose will always astound those involved.”
Judson is a Christian college, and it loves and stands equally for non-believing students as well. Through Christ-loving sisters, every student has the same opportunities to serve in the community where everyone comes together as one: the children of God. Borowski expounds on this: “Jesus made His entire life about community service—He had a heart for the people of this earth. Following His example, Christians are duty-bound to reach out to God’s people as well.”