Instead of practicing for the next game, athletes spent the day building homes for needy families. Rather than attending class, math students served the homeless at Tent City, education students participate din music therapy with deaf and blind children, and art students painted a mural for a Kid's Worship area at a local church.
This is just an sample of the impact that 1,200 UMobile students, faculty and staff had at over 60 locations throughout Mobile and Baldwin counties during the second annual University of Mobile Project Serve.
The event took place on Friday, Sept. 21, beginning with breakfast and a rally in front of Bedsole Library. Dr. Mark Foley, present of the University of Mobile, encouraged participants to make a personal difference in the lives of the individuals they would meet throughout the day. After prayer led by Coach Mike Jacobs and a group photo, teams departed to various locations to serve.
Service projects were chosen based on the specific talents and expertise of each academic area or department as well as ideas that were meaningful to that group.
Center for Performing Arts and Worship Leadership teams visited assisted living facilities, nursing homes and veteran's homes, spending time with the residents and engaging them in an old-fashioned choir rehearsal.
Arts and Sciences students and faculty donated school supplies to children at USA Children's and Women's Hospital, painted facilities at AltaPointe and the Home of Grace rehabilitation center for women, helped build science exhibits for children at the downtown Exploreum, worked with children at Daphne Elementary School and planted community gardens to benefit area food banks.
The School of Nursing provided renovations and maintenance work for Westside Baseball Park in order to promote healthy lifestyles and prepare for special needs children who will be using the park.
School of Business teams partnered with the Dumas Wesley Community Center to provide a variety of services. Projects included landscaping, creating and planting gardens, painting, cleaning, playing games with residents and much more.
Education faculty and students worked with the Regional School for the Deaf and Blind, Saraland High School, and the Magnet School for Math, Science and Technology. Teams worked individually with children, organized supplies, and provided general clean-up and maintenance work where needed.
Campus Life staff led student teams to SeaBreeze Nursing Home, the Salvation Army and L'Arche Mobile, while a variety of UMobile staff departments served at locations such as the Bay Area Food Bank, Penelope's Closet, Ronald McDonald House, Wilmer Hall, Ransom Cafe, assisted living facilities, and more.
The day concluded with a family fun night "Pack the Pack Bash" starting at 6 p.m. at Hank Aaron Stadium. The Senior Bowl, GoDaddy.com Bowl, Mobile BayBears, 19 area churches and 15 local nonprofit organizations partnered with the University of Mobile Center for Leadership and College of Christian Leadership to provide families with a free meal, entertainment, prayer and a chance to hear the Gospel of Christ. Over 1,200 children received a backpack of school supplies during this event.
"The most memorable aspect personally was seeing people line up at the gate an hour and a half before the gates opened," said Dr. Joe Savage, executive dean of the School of Christian Ministries and director of the Center for Leadership. "To see the number of UMobile students serving in such a variety of ways was incredible. The integration of musicians, face-painters, servers, greeters and entertainers all using their personal skill was awesome. To also see ministry students praying personally with and for every person who was in attendance before they left was very powerful for both students and guests."