TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15
OKLAHOMA CITY – Students at Oklahoma City University will celebrate the joy of giving over Christmas break and many will offer gifts that can’t be unwrapped. They plan to give themselves to help others.
Jarred Johnson, a Clara Luper Scholar at OCU, will volunteer on Christmas Day. Johnson has made a Christmas tradition out of serving lunch at the Red Andrew’s Christmas Dinner at the Ford Center.
Law student Katy Jones will travel to Zanzibar and Tanzania for both class and charity during Christmas break. Jones will complete her first study abroad course in modern day slavery and human trafficking. Jones said she looks forward to studying in a place that is historically significant to the course topic. Following the two week course, Jones will spend one week volunteering at an orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania.
Among her travel options, Jones was offered the opportunity to add an African safari to the end of her trip. However, Jones prefers to skip tourist attractions when travelling and find opportunities to be around the native people.
She looked into a variety of organizations before selecting the project in Arusha.
“I really like to work with kids and this one gave me the opportunity to do that,” she said. Jones is a former elementary education teacher.
“My mom always taught me to do the right thing wherever you are,” she said. “It makes me feel better.”
Music education student Joshua Hughes will travel to Belize with his family for a mission trip. Hughes, his parents, two sisters, grandfather and 10 other members of his church in Kansas City, Mo. will work in Belmopan the week after Christmas. Hughes will help lead a Vacation Bible School for local children. His group, from New Hope Church of the Nazarene, also will install a new roof and new pews in a local church.
“I look forward to being able to work with the children in the community,” Hughes said. “So many of these kids are in much need, and being able to provide them food, toys, entertainment and showing them our love can be a great blessing.”
Hughes is accustomed to mission work. He spent the first seven years of his life in South America and the Caribbean while his parents worked as missionaries for the Nazarene Church. Hughes said he has completed several mission trips since but this will be the first one to include his entire family since his parents left the mission field.
Christopher Robinson, an OCU law student, will volunteer at Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma during his break from school. He plans to help clients with victim protection orders and wills.