2011 Step Forward Day Recap: Men's Golf
Sept. 21, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - Thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends gathered on Saturday, Sept. 10, to take part in Step Forward Day, Pepperdine University's annual day of collective volunteer service. Dozens of campus organizations, including classes, dorms, fraternities, sororities, and clubs, assisted over nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and parks throughout Southern California. Pepperdine athletic teams also came together to give a helping hand, while alumni chapters across the country organized service projects in their own communities.
Step Forward Day began in 1988 when two Pepperdine students recognized the need for volunteers in the local community and sought to encourage service among their peers. The projects began as small acts of service from helping to repair homes of local senior citizens to planting gardens at Webster Elementary School. Today the annual event has grown not only across Southern California, but also to communities nationwide as Pepperdine alumni step forward to help.
Parker Page (Louisville, Ky./Ballard HS), a sophomore on the Pepperdine men's golf team, writes about what he and his teammates did that day:
This year on Step Forward Day, the nine members of our men's golf team, along with both Coach Geiberger and Coach Smith, put Pepperdine's mission statement to practice at a self-help center called SHARE! (Self-Help And Recovery Exchange). This establishment provides an opportunity for personal growth among the homeless who wish to regain a sense of normalcy through either volunteer work or peer-mediation.
Our golf team was able to contribute by tidying up areas for meetings, reorganizing storage rooms and attempting to improve the aesthetics of the facility by means of our hand-made decorations. Although our artistic abilities were suspect at best, I believe our efforts went a long way in improving both the functionality and appearance of this center for personal growth.
Our day of service may have been designed with the intention of others being the beneficiaries of our work, but it's my personal conviction that we received as much out of the trip to SHARE! as those we were there to serve. Cheryl and Mike's determination to turn lives of despair and heartache into lives of promise and joy is such an awe-inspiring character trait to see first-hand, and it became contagious among my teammates and coaches.
This helped all of us to recognize the unbelievable opportunity we have as student-athletes at Pepperdine, and the ensuing responsibility we have to be catalysts for positive change in our community.