Photo: Katie Barefield, nursing major, Abilene; Erin Hagood, speech and communication major, Lubbock, TX
Hardin-Simmons University students Katie Barefield, a freshman nursing major from Abilene; and Erin Hagood, a freshman speech communication major from Lubbock, Texas, had almost filled a sign-up sheet after only an hour of sitting in front of the HSU bookstore. The two Baptist Student Ministries students were recruiting 50 student volunteers to help provide a Christmas party for children in the third, fourth, and fifth grades of Ortiz and Johnston Elementary Schools.
John Hunt, HSU’s BSM director, says students enjoy throwing the party for elementary school children every year, “It helps HSU students to connect with children in Abilene, and for us, it is an opportunity to love our neighbor in a very direct (and very fun) way!”
The 50 HSU student volunteers will help host the December 3, 2013, party to be held in the multi-purpose room of the Johnson Building, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. “We will have crafts, games, movie time, a meal, hot chocolate and cookies, and then a gift exchange,” says Hunt. “The HSU students purchase the gifts for the children, unless they are unable to do so, at which point the BSM purchases the gift.”
Barefield says she can remember having a lot of fun with university students when she was small and looks forward to spending time with the elementary children. “Now that I’m older, I have enjoyed several high school choir mission trips through Pioneer Drive Baptist Church. In Cleveland, Ohio, we did a vacation Bible school for children and I realized being with the kids is one of my favorite things,” says Katie.
Hunt says, “Many of our students who participate have been involved in children’s ministry in their home churches and this event offers them a way to interact with children in similar fashion.”
Katie says she also enjoyed the adopt-a-grandparent party the BSM students sponsored earlier this fall.