Tiger Serve Day: What makes it possible

Video by Kyle Jackson

The count down begins, the phones start to ring and the number of projects continue to build.

Tiger Serve Day has become a defining point of what community means to Ouachita. It is the job of the leadership team to keep that day from fading. Every semester this leadership team, a group of students chosen by Judy Duvall for their willingness to serve, have a weekly meeting for planning leading up to Tiger Serve Day. At those meetings, they break down what is needed for publicity, projects and the day itself.

Throughout the years, Tiger Serve Day has been molded and shaped for its growth. The first Tiger Serve Day was March 7, 1997. At this first Tiger Serve Day, there wasn’t even an Elrod Center for volunteer teams to meet at. The Alumni at Ouachita have made it possible for the students to continue to grow both in the community and at Ouachita by providing the resources and centers necessary, such as the Elrod Center building, to make Tiger Serve Day possible semester after semester.

Tiger Serve Day is made possible by those who work in the Elrod Center and those who make donations to Ouachita. One of those people most vital to Tiger Serve Day is Judy Duvall, the assistant director of the Elrod Center.

 

There are 25 members on the leadership team and many different roles for them to play. The projects team goes to the projects and visits with the elders or businesses that students will be serving. While there they make note of the many different tasks that the service team sent to the project will need to complete.

Even with all the efforts that the leadership team puts in, Tiger Serve Day would not be possible without the numerous groups of volunteers that sign-up to serve every semester. In the past five years, there have been a total of 940 different service teams. The leadership group that heads up the teams, has the job of matching a team with a project that fits each team’s size and personality. Haley Martin, chair of the Tiger Serve Day “teams” team and a junior Christian studies major works hard to make this happen.

Logistics is another important part of Tiger Serve Day. Year after year the tools that volunteers use start to wear down or break. The objective of the logistics team is to make sure every team has the appropriate amount of tools for their service projects. While they are work on that, they visit projects to see what tools are needed.

This semester’s tools for the nearly 100 projects students will complete on Tiger Serve Day include:

  • 57 Buckets
  • About 800 pairs of gloves
  • Over 250 rakes
  • Over 2500 trash bags
  • Over 100 hedge trippers
  • Total tools: about 750

The Arkadelphia locals who students serve come from all kinds of different backgrounds. One woman, Mrs. Delores White, played baseball in Cuba for seven years with “A League of Their Own.” As the leadership team visited with her she shared about her life and the accomplishments she had achieved. While sharing with them, she was able to show what work the volunteers will be able to do for Tiger Serve Day. To learn more about White, see this video.

This semester’s Tiger Serve Day will take place this Saturday, September 26, at 8 a.m. For more information about Tiger Serve Day or the leadership team, contact Judy Duvall at duvallj@obu.edu.

By Brent Northington

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