Remembering that Huntsville belongs to all of us, and that it's up to all of us to Keep Huntsville beautiful, Oakwood Administrators suspended classes on Thursday, September 17, to enable over 400 students, staff, faculty and administrators to participate in AGAPE Huntsville 2009, a bi-annual event devoted to community service. Oakwood volunteers took the time from their busy office and classroom schedules to lend a helping hand at Huntsville’s Burritt Museum, Huntsville Depot, Early Works Museum, Huntsville Library, the Hays Nature Preserve, University Place and Ridgecrest Elementary Schools, Ditto Landing, and an Adult Handicap Home to repair, clean up, paint, rake leaves, weed, dust, and plant flowers and provide other necessary services.
To make Agape Day possible, Oakwood partnered with Operation Green Team, an organization which endeavors to make Huntsville a role model for Alabama and the Nation in terms of landscape beauty, cleanliness, and environmental consciousness. The goals and objectives of this city-funded organization are education, beautification efforts, maintaining a sustained litter reduction, and improving waste handling practices in the community. Operation Green Team is affiliated with Keep America Beautiful, Inc.
Leigh Carter, a freshman from Atlanta, GA, thought that Agape Day was part of a class assignment, but as she got involved her mindset changed. She saw that barriers [to communication] can be broken through participation. Oakwood senior Laurie Pierre, of Paris, France, wanted to participate in Agape Day and give back to the community before she leaves college. Sophomore James Kelly, from Bronx, NY, believes that doing these projects in the community reminds people that the school cares, and [our involvement] can be used as a witnessing tool.
Dr. Susan Baker, Oakwood’s First Lady and faculty member in Allied Health, helped Oakwood students do housework at a local adult group home. She stated, “It has got to be the cleanest house in Huntsville!” She enjoyed the spirit of the students wanting to get involved and showing the community that Oakwood cares about them.
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