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Impacting Lincoln with Union’s Outreach Ministry program

Photo Caption: Students smile at The Lighthouse during a recent outreach opportunity coordinated by Outreach Ministries.

Debbie Pinto

The last week of February, 12 students including myself had the opportunity to volunteer at The Lighthouse, an afterschool program for middle and high school students through Outreach Ministry. According to their website, “The Lighthouse After-School Program offers middle and high school aged-youth academic support, evening meals and enrichment/recreational activities during non-school hours.” Their goal for each student is that the students move onto the next grade and follow the student until graduation. They offer a positive environment to students that encourages them and grows them to be better citizens. Much of the program is run by volunteers who help tutor, serve meals, clean, and mentor the students. This is one of the many volunteer opportunities offered in Lincoln.

Service is a familiar part of Union’s culture. Not only are we notorious for Project Impact, but Union students are known around Lincoln for serving in multiple nonprofits and charities across the city. Within Campus Ministries, we find the Outreach Ministry. “Put simply, it is to show community as Jesus did in the city of Lincoln,” said sophomore Outreach Coordinator Briggitte Chavez. Whether you need volunteer hours for a scholarship or if you simply want to help others, Outreach Ministry is looking for you.

Lincoln offers a variety of organizations that serve different needs. Some volunteer tasks include playing basketball, board games, coloring with kids, cleaning and organizing, raising awareness, fundraising, hosting free clinics, feeding the homeless, and praying with people. One of Chavez’s favorite parts about outreach is people. “I believe everyone has brilliance, a matchless ability unique to them. In every outreach event, Union students immerse themselves into helping others, and talents shine. It is not arrogance but humility. Experiencing this and being part of it, that’s my favorite part.”

When Chavez was asked to share words of inspiration to the students, she quotes Ravi Zacharias in saying, “‘Time is the brush of God, as he paints his masterpiece on the heart of humanity.’ Let’s give a little bit of our time to see someone smile. Special shout out to Union Volunteers, you know who you are. Brush on Union!”

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Here’s a list of volunteer opportunities coming up this semester:

March 20—Good Neighbor Center

March 27—People’s City Mission

March 28—Urban Plunge (Christ for the City International)

April 24—Relay for Life (The American Cancer Society)

Debbie is a junior studying elementary education.