The three-day service itinerary was a fantastic way to develop stronger bonds with family and other alumni while literally helping to feed and put a roof over the heads of families and individuals in need.
Our first stop was to team up with Habitat for Humanity to help build "Habitat Terrace," a development of 28 GreenPoint Rated town homes in the Oceanview neighborhood of San Francisco.
The next day, Seaver College alumna Nicole Flowers hosted a morning of fellowship as we prepared hot breakfast meal packages for those nearby without homes. After preparing the food, we divided into groups to distribute the welcomed, tasty nourishment to appreciative men and women. Nicole, an amazing alumna with a heart for serving her community, is the founder of hiip, a designer hip bag company with a service-driven twist. For every hiip purchased, a kit of necessities (think of it as a survival bag of sorts) will be hand-delivered to a person in need on the street. Learn more here.
Later that evening, the Bay Area Waves alumni chapter hosted an evening of spirited Pepperdine fun in the Palo Alto area, starting with the men's volleyball matchup of Pepperdine vs. Stanford, followed by a reception at The Patio Bar & Grill.
We began our final day with a fun and impactful service project sorting and packaging food supplies for the San Francisco Food Bank to distribute to individuals, families, and schools in need across the city. Our mighty Pepperdine volunteers packaged 13,500 lbs. of oranges in less than three hours!
To conclude our time together, the Waves of Alumni Project Serve gathered at Delancey Street Restaurant to enjoy a nice meal and reflect on our service experience. Delancey Street Restaurant is part of an impressive organization that operates an unprecedented vocational training program providing 300 formerly unemployable drug addicts, ex-felons, and homeless men and women a variety of skills in building trades as well as training in purchasing, contracting, computer and accounting services. Delancey Street's key principle is that ordinary people can transform extraordinary – even impossible – dreams into reality by pooling their resources, supporting one another, and living lives of purpose and integrity. There is nothing else in the country like this self-built, self-managed, self-help complex. During our dinner, we had the pleasure of hearing the very personal stories of our own servers, each of whom are Delancey Street residents.
Here is what Waves had to say about Alumni Project Serve 2014:
"It was so wonderful and exciting to spend some time with my Pepperdine family. I am so thankful and so proud to be an alumnus from Pepperdine. I was reminded as to why my Pepperdine experience was the best experience of my life." – Gary Johnson (SC '98)
"Alumni Project Serve is a great opportunity for alums to get together, share Christ with others, and grow the Pepperdine value of service to others. It also keeps pride and involvement with Pepp alive!" – Nicole Flowers (SC '04)
"What a joy it was to be able to serve alongside my fellow Waves. This affirmed for me the mission of Pepperdine and strengthened my ties with a number of fellow alumni. I hope that we will continue to do this, allowing us to strengthen our ties with one another and remind us of what Pepperdine is all about!" – Hung Le (SC '87)
"About a dozen of us working in groups of three of four packed up oatmeal, raisins, brown sugar, and fanny packs of personal items such as toothpaste and deodorant. We went down four separate streets and gave the oatmeal and fanny packs to some very, very grateful people. What is incredible to me is the fact that these homeless people say that they will pray for us. The gifts that the homeless give back to us were much more meaningful than the food that we gave them." - Dr. Jack McManus, Professor, Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology
It was one of our best and most rewarding programs yet, and we are eager to share the joy with more Waves. If you are interested in joining us next year and wish to stay informed, please contact Matt Ebeling at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 506-4348.
View more photos from this and previous Alumni Project Serve adventures HERE.