Christmas is a time for giving, and that’s exactly what BJU students did this past Friday night in downtown Greenville. Approximately 30 students made their way to the front of the Peace Center on South Main Street to give out cookies and hot chocolate to people passing by. BJU’s Community Service Council (CSC) organized the event.
“Our purpose is to spread Christmas cheer,” says CSC director and junior mathematics education major Jaimie Wilson from Greenville, South Carolina. “[Passing out food] makes people curious, and it’s exciting to talk to people as well—who knows where your conversation will lead, and who knows who God will put in your path.”
Sharing the true meaning of Christmas
Students have embraced this event as one way of sharing with the community what God is doing at BJU, but more importantly, what God has done for the world. Especially around Christmas time, events like these give students opportunities to share the good news of God’s greatest Gift, Jesus Christ. “My hope is that we are able to show Christ’s love to the community through our gifts of cookies and hot drinks, our joy in Christ, and our conversation,” says Tim Buck, a junior international business major from North Carolina.
Flowing from what Christ has done for us, students hope that this event inspires others to get into the giving spirit. “I hope that by experiencing this event, the people we engage with might be motivated to do something extra special for someone else,” says Darlene Sarracino, a sophomore nursing major from New Mexico. “I am excited about this project because I love interacting with people and giving them something to smile about, and I am hoping for an opportunity to share Christ with someone who might not have any reason to celebrate this holiday.”
Connecting with the community
This is the second year in a row that the CSC has hosted this event, which was started to help BJU students get more involved in the community. “My vision is to make students more aware of community service,” says Jaimie.
Partnering with College Point Catering (BJU’s catering service), the CSC was able to hand out more than 20 dozen cookies and 20 gallons of hot chocolate. But more than that, the goal is to open the door to many conversations and interactions with the community. “Giving out free hot chocolate might not seem like a big deal, but it opens the door for conversation,” says Elizabeth Faulkner, a senior biblical counseling major from Georgia. “We even got to share the Gospel with a couple of people last year!”
This event is just one small way that the BJU family is getting involved in the local community; BJU is so thankful to be a part of Greenville. Volunteering and connecting with the community is a huge part of the student experience at BJU.
During the last year alone, more than 2,000 BJU volunteers helped with various community events, including the Subway-Goodwill Big Dig, Easter Eggstravaganza, Greenville Special Olympics, blood drives, Washington Center Challenge Day and the Reedy River Run.
Published December 10, 2012