University of Mobile unites to give back during annual Project Serve

By Rivers Brunson
University of Mobile

It is a Christ-centered devotion to students that gives purpose to University of Mobile’s (UM) annual Project Serve, a university-wide day of service in Mobile and Baldwin counties, now in its seventh year.

On Oct. 20 more than 1,000 red shirts featuring “#umserves” flooded Mobile and Baldwin counties’ elementary schools, nursing homes, community centers, parks and churches. From cleaning dusty trophy cases at James Seals Community Center to mascot-hugs at Saraland Elementary School, students and faculty hit the streets to fill them with the love of Christ.

“This is what we do as Rams. We give back,” said Katrina Hampton Frazier, recreation program supervisor for community centers for the City of Mobile.

A 1999 graduate of UM, Frazier gave a thorough orientation that resembled a pep rally for students serving at one of the community centers she manages.

“Together Everyone Accomplishes More,” an acronym for TEAM, was printed on a poster and displayed prominently at the front of the room.

“My university is stepping up to the mic, and they have dropped the mic on the City of Mobile,” Frazier shouted. Her words were met with cheers from dozens of students and faculty.

How does a day of service represent the core value of being “student-devoted”?

“It provides an opportunity for us to go and build relationship and community, as well as serving the community as Christ calls us to, and to share the message of His gospel to other people,” said Philip Vo, a student from Mobile.

President Dr. Timothy L. Smith shed his trademark bow tie to work side by side with students and faculty from the School of Business. Together they cleared the small trees and vines cluttering Dumas Wesley Community Center’s newly acquired lot.

Before he served lunch to the residents at Twin Oaks Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, he had to wash the dirt and grime from his hands. His shirt was drenched with sweat. This is by no means a typical day at the office.

This is Project Serve.