If you didn't know, every December Dordt chooses a service project to participate in. Last year, we participated in Dressember, many students donating money to the International Justice Mission and dressing up to raise awareness about sex-trafficking. The year before last we donated as a campus to One Body One Hope (you should look them up, if you don't know who they are).
These projects work two ways: on the one hand, they benefit those we are seeking to serve. On the other, they benefit the Dordt community by giving us an opportunity to give some time and money to something outside ourselves. Because we are doing it as a campus, we make a bigger impact than we would as individuals.
This year, our service project is meant not only to benefit a particular organization, but also to help Dordt as a whole fulfill its calling from God to care for the Earth and everyone in it.
Let me explain. The project works with the cooperation of pretty much everyone at Dordt. The adminstration has agreed to make some changes to make Dordt more sustainable: buying bigger recycling bins to allow for more recycling, creating work-study positions to help process the recycled materials, and creating a standing-committee to continue the environmental work. These changes affect people all over Dordt; among them are our dining services, the Maintenance department, and the Financial department.
These changes also come with a catch. The students at Dordt must cut down on the amount of recyclable materials they throw in the trash by half.
The recycling is the first half of the project. The second half is the fundraiser to raise enough money ($10,000, to be precise) to install solar panels on One Body One Hope's school in Liberia, which will not only make it more sustainable, but also save the school about $3,000 a year.
The verse that is being thrown around to support this project is Micah 6:8. "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
I was curious why the Sustainability Committee chose this as the verse they wanted to use for the project. Renee Ewald, who is largely responsible for this project actually happening (yes, the same one from my last blog), explained it this way: Justice for all people is protecting something that all people need--the earth. So when the environment is abused, people living on the fringes suffer. By taking care of the earth, we are taking care of those who cannot help themselves from the effects of pollution and waste.
We can talk in abstract concepts about doing justice and mercy, but those eventually need to take the physical form of real actions. For instance, recycling. Or spending some money on your sisters and brothers in Liberia. Or installing solar panels.
This blog is part of The Dordt Life Blog, so it is mainly to let you in on some of the Dordt life (profound, I know). But while I have your attention, I also want to ask you to join in on the project! Since you are reading this blog, you are connected somehow--even remotely--to Dordt, so I would so love it if you joined our efforts in this service project by recycling, donating, and praying.
Below I have posted the links to the two promotional videos for the project and a link to One Body One Hope's page where you can learn more about OBOH and you have the option to donate.