125 Hours was created as part of Belmont’s 125th anniversary celebration and consisted of 125 hours of continuous service. Beginning on Nov. 8, students, faculty and staff volunteered at places like Room in the Inn, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Nashville Rescue Mission until the project concluded on Nov. 13.
Director of Service Learning Tim Stewart and his team worked with community organizations in need to fill the slots needed for all 125 hours. Belmont’s existing relationship with Room in the Inn made them the perfect option for overnight shifts.
“Many of our faculty and staff and a number of our students are already involved with Room in the Inn through their churches. Of course Belmont is involved with Room in the Inn on Wednesdays and Fridays,” said Stewart. “We serve guests here on campus, so we already have the infrastructure in place. We have the knowledge in place. That was pretty easy as far as coming up with something to do during the night hours.”
In addition to larger projects like Room in the Inn and Second Harvest, the team set up smaller service projects. Stewart was most excited about the projects being done for veterans.
Sigma Alpha Iota visited the Veterans Hospital to sing patriotic songs to the veterans Sunday. Volunteers participated in the Paracord Bracelet Fundraiser Thursday, making bracelets out of parachute cords to sell at basketball games. Benefits from the bracelets sending student veterans to the Student Veterans of America Conference in Orlando where they will network with other student veterans.
Belmont freshman Ali Humbrecht’s most meaningful experience during 125 Hours was working with the Nashville Rescue Mission.
“I think that all of the events I’ve attended have brought me back down to reality, like how fortunate we are and how nice it is to give back to the community,” Humbrecht said.
In Tim Stewart’s opinion, the event was a tremendous success. Faculty, staff, and students are so excited and willing to help others and serve the community. The response from the student body was huge, and someone was always able to make sure someone was working somewhere for 125 hours, he said.
“It solidifies my commitment and my belief that it really is what it’s all about, and we do what we do because we have the opportunity,” Stewart said. “We’ve been blessed with a lot of resources, with a lot of abilities. To have the opportunity to go out and share those with other people and to give back, you can’t really ask for much more than that.”
This article was written by Lucy Benson.