REDDING, Calif. - A little bit of rain didn't keep Simpson University students from pitching in around the Northstate Saturday for their annual "Day of Service."
Whether it was yard work, deep cleaning or applying layers of fresh paint, the student volunteers s were out at schools, community centers and non-profits lending a helping hand.
"Today we're serving at ten different locations with around seventy or eighty students," says Simpson University senior Hannah Dewater, who was leading a team at Parsons Junior High School. "All volunteers, everyone wants to be here--and just trying to bless our city and let them know that Simpson is here and we want to help."
Many of the volunteers are new students—freshman or transfer students—and the "Day of Service" is a great way for them to get out into the community.
"It's a good way to get out and help our community," says freshman Tucker Hoffman, who was laying fresh layers of bark at the Martin Luther King Junior Center. "Get our name out there and just serve the community around us because they do so much for us."
Freshman Julie Doden says the volunteer spirit is part of the culture at Simpson University.
"We all get together, we hang out and we just help everyone in the community," says freshman Julie Doden, who was helping out at the Salvation Army on Larkspur lane.
"Everyone at Simpson just likes to help people out. Like, I know when I first moved in they carried all my stuff for me and everyone just want to help each other out.
Recently, the "Day of Service" has evolved into something more.
"Last year we went out 33 times," says Jon Thompson, Coordinator of Student Ministries and Outreach for Simpson University. "As opposed to just one day of service, every weekend there was something going on. And I think that we topped 1800 person hours of service in the community."
The volunteers are sent out in what they call "strike teams" and for staff at the Martin Luther King Junior Center they are priceless.
"It's really nice because projects add up and you don't have time to do them all," says Christina Massey, coordinator at the MLK Center. "So when you can get them done it's really awesome and they support us a lot."
Massey says the good work Simpson volunteers do is especially rewarding because it trickles down to the little ones.
"The kids will be so excited when they come in and see how clean it is and they always get excited when they see fresh bark so it's good things."
If you would like to get involved with the Simpson University volunteer effort, just text the word "strike" to 59769 and they'll send you updates on their upcoming events.