One hundred fifty to 200 BYU students simultaneously halt their busy schedules to serve others twice a month.
For one hour on the first and third Thursdays of every month, at 11 a.m., students stop in Brigham Square for a few minutes to contribute to their school and community. “Sweet Hour of Service” gives quick, easy access to service opportunities such as writing letters to servicemen, making decorations for mental facilities and giving cookies and quotes to other students.
Maggie Coleman, the BYUSA program director, said Thursdays at 11 a.m. provide the ideal time for students to serve because most do not have class during that time.
“It’s hard to get involved in service if you have a crazy schedule and don’t know what you can do,” said the sophomore from Seattle, Wash. “This is an opportunity where you can walk by and do something good in a short time.”
Ally Wilkin, a freshman from Superior, Colo., participated in a “Sweet Hour of Service” activity where she placed her handprint on a poster and pledged to serve others and then took a treat and an uplifting message to another student. She continues to come back each Thursday to develop her love for service.
“Service is important because you are helping others and you are developing who you are,” she said. “It is wonderful that BYU has such a community of service and that it encourages service among its students.”
Chloe Sumsion, a freshman from Draper majoring in computer science, said she found out about “Sweet Hour of Service” from her roommate and enjoys having the chance to serve.
“Today is my first time, but I’m going to come back,” Sumsion said. “I love serving, and it’s great to have a way to serve that is fast and easy.”
“Sweet Hour of Service” is one BYUSA’s initiatives to help foster a culture of service at BYU. It started in September and will continue throughout the school year. Donna Hatch, the BYUSA executive director, said she did not know how much this short hour of service would impact the lives of BYU students and faculty.
“I didn’t see how much it would impact people until people told me about how they were blessed,” Hatch said. “When we took the decorations to the mental facility, they were so happy and so surprised we could accomplish what we did in only one hour. We even had a professor tell his class about how he received a quote and a cookie from a random student, and how that quote made his day and helped him with something in his personal life. I love having people tell me how it made a difference for them.”
Students can find more information about “Sweet Hour of Service” on the BYUSA website and by stopping by every first and third Thursday.