SEARCY, Ark. –Serve Searcy, an organization aimed to help the local community, is in full swing this fall.

Junior David Walker had the idea in fall 2018 during a Bible study, and it quickly took hold. The idea was to bridge the gap between Harding University students and those in need in Searcy through engaging in service project opportunities and outreach activities. Serve Searcy came to fruition this fall after much planning and walking through the steps of Walker’s vision.

“I found myself wanting to do service but not knowing how to get started,” Walker said. “I realized that I have a way to step into that.”

Assisting people in need of service and connections is Walker’s goal. Walker said he feels a calling to show God’s work through everything Serve Searcy does.

“It allows us to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to the community of Searcy,” Walker said. “Serve Searcy allows people who have never served before to walk in and serve.”

Serve Searcy has approximately 27 active members, with 26 of them participating in the first service project that took place Saturday, Sept. 14.

During the first outreach event, the group went into the Searcy community with necessary items for locals that included encouraging notes with their contact information. The members focused on connecting with the people and assisting them with whatever they needed.

“We knocked on the doors and had good conversations with the community there,” said David Martinez. “We asked if they needed anything to be prayed about.”

Registrar Tod Martin, a sponsor for Serve Searcy, said that a lack of unity exists between University students and Searcy locals.

“There’s a separation between Harding and the community,” Martin said. “Harding is making a lot of effort to erase those boundaries and break down those barriers.”

In the 10 blocks surrounding Harding’s campus, there is a 40% poverty rate, according to the U.S. Census Burea.

Walking from Harding to someone who is living in poverty takes less than two minutes.

Freshman Austin Simmons said he hopes to make an impact on Searcy through this organization and see it grow and change lives.

“Hopefully we can start going out and serving more places in Searcy,” Simmons said. “We want to expand it and bless more people.”