The motto “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve” encourages students, faculty and alumni to donate their time, resources and skills to others. The Center for Service and Learning coordinates service opportunities for students through 70 local community service programs.
More than 23,500 students donated a collective 131,454 hours of service in 2013. These students believe that giving their time and effort makes a difference, not only for those they serve but also for themselves.
“There’s nothing quite like making a difference — whether that means helping one person or putting something together that will affect many. There are a lot of ways that college students can spend their time, but for me, the very best is when I know my work has made things better for someone else,” said Will West, vice president of the university service council.
BYU students make time for others, even when swamped with the stresses of school, work, sleep and social life.
Joseph Heath, a junior in European Studies, said being involved in Y-Serve was on his university bucket list. “It’s part of the BYU experience. It’s the tradition of doing good,” Heath said.
The BYU tradition of doing good connects with the Church’s dedication to service. In the October 2009 New Era, President Monson said that “service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy.”
That duty is fulfilled worldwide through recent social media campaigns, including #sharegoodness and #DidYouThinktoPray. Members worldwide are contributing uplifting messages, photos and videos through various methods of social media.
Vineyard is one Y-Serve program that is particularly plugged into the technological service of the Church. As mentioned on its website, “Vineyard at BYU does online service for the Church in a social setting.” In a recent orientation meeting entitled “Hastening the Work through Digital Service,” program director Samuel Bradshaw talked about the service BYU students can provide through digital means.
The meeting opened with food and friends then continued with a multimedia presentation by Bradshaw. Nearly 40 students listened as Bradshaw outlined the growth of the Church, the Church’s crowd-sourcing projects and upcoming events on the BYU campus.
“Vineyard at BYU works with the Church Publishing Department to complete LDSTech projects, donate photos and media and add image search words to existing Church media and index,” Bradshaw said. “We’ve also gone to local wards and taught their Relief Societies how to use the gospel library.”
Today’s technology is well suited for serving the needs of a global church. It is easy to post a quick message or photo, index a batch of names or share a conference talk or scripture online. Vineyard teaches students how to use technology and provides a space for students to do it together.
“We would really like to have more people to join us,” said Sara Obando, a transfer student from Mexico City. “We have a lot of events coming up this semester.”
Obando helps publicize for Vineyard events. Upcoming events include an #LDSconf party on Oct. 4, the LDSTech Conference Oct. 16–17 and a graphic design challenge later in the semester.
“In November, we hope to get graphic designers together to create uplifting cover photos that we will release for anyone to use on their Facebook page,” Bradshaw said.
Vineyard meets every Wednesday from 6:00 to 6:50 p.m. in the Y-Serve office by the Wilkinson Student Center terrace. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own computers and come as often as time permits.
“I just want people to know they can do something. No matter how much time they have, there is something they can do,” Obando said.
Why should you Y-serve? Well Y not!