People in the community who like to serve others were invited for a luncheon at BYU on Wednesday. The food was simple, but the smiles and loving spirits of the guests made a rich atmosphere.
The Center for Service and Learning held its annual Community Partner Luncheon at WSC Garden Court on Wednesday. The luncheon was to honor the community partners’ contribution to BYU; more than 60 representatives from the various partnering organizations attended.
Bill Hulterstrom, president and CEO at United Way of Utah County, said the United Way has a tradition of working with BYU students more than 30 years.
“[We] have always enjoyed the passion and energy that we find in working with these great students,” Hulterstrom said.
Habitat for Humanity was another community partner at the luncheon. Kena Mathews, executive director at Habitat for Humanity of Utah County, said the last year has been a great time with Y-Serve.
“Y-Serve has given us the volunteers that we need to build the homes for families in need in our community,” Mathews said. “It’s been a great partnership, and really has been beneficial to everyone involved, I believe.”
In 2011, the Center for Service and Learning operated 60 programs with 22,184 volunteers serving a total of 121,957 hours. It offers BYU students service opportunities and helps them develop an attitude of “lifelong learning and service.”
“These [people] are the access points for the students to do the service,” said Casey Peterson, director at the Center for Service and Learning. “It’s meaningful for us to be able to recognize everything that they do make it a positive experience.”
After a few remarks from speakers, awards were given to several outstanding community and BYU partners, faculty members and student leaders.
Lundy McKibbin, a senior majoring in biology and French, received an outstanding student leader award at the luncheon. McKibbin has served as a program director for Adaptive Aquatics since 2009. The volunteers of the program regularly swim with special education children to develop their cognitive, motor and social skills.
“[Adaptive Aquatics] has been the best thing I’ve done at BYU by far,” McKibbin said. “It’s been wonderful to see children get happier, especially following the children over a few years seeing how things have changed for them, and talking with teachers and seeing how their lives have changed and how we’re helping children who are really in need.”