REDDING, Calif.— For the 15th consecutive year, Simpson University students, staff, and faculty will partner with the community in the university’s annual Day of Service on Saturday, Sept. 21.
The Day of Service is a start-of-the-year tradition at Simpson, where classes for traditional undergraduate students begin the day after Labor Day.
This year’s service day will focus on one location with one purpose: Carr Fire recovery efforts in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. An estimated 130 students and others will help with rebuilding picnic tables and trails, as well as clearing brush.
“Because students, staff and faculty were affected by the Carr Fire, we felt it was appropriate to come alongside our beloved city of Redding and concentrate our efforts to help heal, rebuild and restore,” said José Palos, director of spiritual formation. “Since the epicenter of the fire was located only a few miles from Oak Bottom, the area where our Day of Service will take place, we saw this as a great opportunity to partner with Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.”
When the Carr Fire swept into Redding in late July 2018, Simpson University opened its residence halls to first responders and its gymnasium to the Red Cross for an evacuation center. The university also served as a donation collection point for clothing and other items.
Last fall, the university launched a Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship program to help students and families impacted by the two Northern California blazes. The first recipients were welcomed to campus this month.
The Day of Service began in 2004 as an outflow of the “Gateway to World Service” motto the university has had for many years. The event has involved partnerships with numerous community organizations, with participants going out in teams to tackle projects ranging from landscaping to painting to sorting items and much more.
In 2012, the Day of Service launched a year-round “way of service” initiative, where smaller teams—comprising Simpson students, staff and faculty—helped out with immediate community needs throughout the school year.
“I believe that we here at Simpson University are blessed by God in a way that sometimes goes beyond our understanding because we are all so busy and engaged with our immediate responsibilities,” Palos said. “Day of Service is a time where, as an institution and community, we live by the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:35: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way, we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Photos by Holly Kiker and Chyna Xiong // Day of Service 2018
Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.
Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.