Simpson University Service Groups Host Community Appreciation Luncheon
For Immediate Release
REDDING, Calif. - Simpson University hosted a recent community appreciation luncheon to thank local organizations whose members have partnered with, mentored, or in some way been involved with student Strike Teams and Service Seminar.
About 40 people attended the June 3 luncheon on campus. Hannah Dewater, coordinator of community services, talked about the growth of Strike Teams and the vital partnerships with area agencies who work with students involved in Service Seminar (formerly known as ministry practicum) as part of their progress toward graduation.
All Simpson University traditional undergraduate students are required to take Service Seminar, in which they volunteer at various organizations, receive mentoring through the site, and attend a bi-monthly class.
“Strike Teams and Service Seminar cannot happen without the support of these groups,” Dewater said. “We appreciate the sacrifice these organizations make to mentor our students and allow us into their lives and those they serve. Our students have benefited greatly from working alongside those who are in the trenches every day and are truly making a positive impact in our community.”
Dewater shared that Strike Teams—a volunteer effort begun in 2012 by students desiring to help meet community needs year-round—increased their community service by 25 percent during the 2015-16 school year, helping with 71 projects.
A Strike Team is made up of volunteers who go out on immediate, short-term work projects in the community. Since 2012, hundreds of students, along with staff and faculty, have served more than 6,000 hours on over 230 projects, including cleanup, maintenance, construction, moving and helping at nonprofit community events.
Community members help mentor about 115 students each semester through Service Seminar—a total of about 700 mentoring hours in 2015-16, Dewater said. In 2015-16, Simpson University students served nearly 6,000 hours in various organizations and churches.
Strike Teams have become vital volunteer help at annual community events such as KIXE-TV’s Holiday Auction, CASA’s Superhero Run, the Shasta Mud Run, Compass ShiningCare fundraisers, and more.
Alice Bennett, KIXE’s volunteer and outreach coordinator, attended the June 3 luncheon and said she appreciated the spirit represented by Strike Teams and those being honored.
“It was really inspiring to look around the room and see how many people really are working to make life in Redding good for everyone—to help children, to improve trails, to educate people,” she said. “Sometimes the problems of the world seem so many, and then you step into a room full of energy and people who are willing to roll up their sleeves.”
This year Strike Teams also partnered with the Shasta County Probation Department, Homeless Rock Stars, and the American Red Cross on special community service projects. In October 2015, a team traveled to Clearlake, Calif., to help Samaritan’s Purse with Valley Fire cleanup efforts in Lake County.
Strike Teams were recognized in 2015 with a California State Senate certificate of appreciation, the 2015 Community Partner Award from Compass ShiningCare, a Volunteer of the Month Award from KIXE-TV in September 2014, and received a certificate of appreciation from the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2015.
Though the majority of students are away during the summer, Strike Teams will continue to serve. Those with needs can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit simpsonu.edu/striketeams.
Photos by Hannah Dewater / Simpson University Strike Teams have served more than 6,000 hours on more than 230 community service projects. The teams hosted a community appreciation lunch on campus June 3.
Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.
Contact: SU Public Relations