JEFFERSON CITY — More than 500 Carson-Newman University students, faculty and staff showed love and support for their community by participating in outreach projects across five counties during the annual Operation Inasmuch day of service.
Forty-three teams were sent to service sites Sept. 29 across Jefferson, Hamblen, Blount, Grainger and Knox counties. The projects included cleaning and organizing donation warehouses, collecting food donations, packing shelf-stable meals for food pantries, teaching lessons to elementary-aged students and cleaning homeless shelters among others.
More than 50 C-N student leaders from programs and organizations led teams and worked during the event.
In 2006, Carson-Newman was the first college or university to implement OI. Founded by former East Tennessee Baptist pastor David Crocker, OI has since been adopted by organizations across the country.
The program’s name stems from Matthew 25:40, where Jesus says: “Inasmuch as you serve the least of these, you serve me.”
“This has really been a team effort from across campus. Our planning team and student leaders have been working since the spring to make this the most impactful event possible,” said Matt Bryant Cheney, director of the Bonner Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement and assistant professor of English.
Bryant Cheney said that he hopes that students will not only serve but also learn more about the East Tennessee community and the people who dedicate their lives to community based work and ministry.
“This was our first year ever canceling classes for in-person service, and we learned a lot of valuable information to help us plan next year and serve our community partners better,” he said.
“About a dozen faculty members also stepped up to host projects for their classes in coordination with the event,” he added. B&R