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Carson-Newman day of service allows students to minister across five counties

Hundreds of members of the campus community banded together to take part in outreach projects across Jefferson, Hamblen, Blount, Grainger, and Knox counties as part of Operation Inasmuch day of service.

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.

The Sept 29 event sent out 43 teams to service sites 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, trailblazing on a natural land preserve, cleaning homeless shelters among others.

Over 50 C-N student leaders from Community Connections, Faith & Justice, and Bonner Scholars Programs were leading teams and working the event.

In 2006, Carson-Newman was the first college or university to implement OI. Founded by Dr. 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,” Matt Bryant Cheney, director of C-N’s Center for Community Engagement and assistant professor of English said.

Bryant Cheney thanked the entire Community Connections office for their work recruiting service sites. 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. About a dozen faculty members also stepped up to host projects for their classes in coordination with the event,” he said.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

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