REDDING, Calif.— With COVID precautions in place, approximately 80 Simpson University staff and faculty recently upheld a 16-year Day of Service tradition to the Redding community.
In years past, the Day of Service – held during the first few weeks of the school year — has consisted of student groups being matched with multiple nonprofits and organizations in Shasta County to help with tasks ranging from weeding to painting to cleanup. The 2019 Day of Service had one focus: Carr Fire recovery efforts at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.
And this year’s event on Sept. 26 included two group projects in Redding and a handful of smaller projects at the homes of university staff and faculty.
“We hope this can provide a great blessing to our community as we draw close to each other to offer the gift of service to individuals experiencing need,” said Jose Palos, Director of Spiritual Formation.
About 50 freshmen helped at The Park in downtown Redding, picking up trash, power-washing sidewalks, and spreading bark.
Another group of 37 students helped clean up trash and clear blackberry bushes at a location along the Sacramento River in Redding. A community member involved in the cleanup sent this thank-you:
“The students did such a great job and cleaned up so much trash!! Our goal is to continue cleaning up this property, creating a beautiful, safe and usable space for the Redding community to enjoy. We are tremendously grateful for all the work the students have done. We look forward to working with you all again.”
The Day of Service began in 2004 as an outflow of the “Gateway to World Service” motto the university has had for many years.
“Service has been a defining element of Simpson University for almost 100 years now,” President Norman Hall told the students who gathered at the cross at the center of campus for prayer and instructions at the start of the day.
He referenced Martin Luther King Jr. in reminding students that “true greatness is denied no man or woman. True greatness comes in serving others.”
He challenged those gathered with the words of Philippians 2:3-5: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”
Simpson University, a Christian university founded in 1921, moved to Redding 31 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 20 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. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally as one of U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West. The university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, and recently added athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team ranked No. 1 in California and No. 26 in the nation. The university has a highly ranked Veterans Success Center and partnership with the Army National Guard. Simpson University contributes an estimated $50 million annually to Redding’s economy. It offers aggressive scholarships and is working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements. Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu.