MOBILE (Kathy Dean) — University of Mobile sophomore Kathryn Gosselin and 50-plus-year-old Mark linked arms, twirling first one direction then another, dancing in the center of the activity room.
Beside them, university students in red Project Serve T-shirts worked at tables on crafts with residents of L’Arche, a community of people with and without disabilities that share life together.
Kathryn was one of nearly 1,300 students, faculty and staff at the Baptist university in north Mobile County that took a day off from classes on Sept. 25 to volunteer at 63 locations across two counties. It was the 5th annual Project Serve, a university-wide effort to celebrate volunteerism, community and faith. Students serve side-by-side with their professors, coaches and university staff to share God’s love through the skills and knowledge they are gaining in the classroom.
“We get to be the representatives of Jesus Christ, in a real un-churchy way” by painting, cleaning, building, singing and ministering, said UMobile President Mark Foley at the morning rally on campus before teams departed to serve. He urged students to connect with those they are serving and “remember that you are being Jesus to them, in that moment.”
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson was on hand to proclaim Sept. 25 as “University of Mobile Project Serve Day.”
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne had commended the university’s commitment to community service with remarks in The Congressional Record, saying that, “While Project Serve will only last one day, I am confident the experience will lead to a lifetime of service for everyone in the University of Mobile community.”