Southern’s Adventist Peace Fellowship (APF) chapter will hold its first volunteer event on October 1 in association with Bridge Refugee Services, a nonprofit organization that supports refugees in East Tennessee.
According to Isabella Eklund, APF president and junior social work major, the APF chapter has forged the slogan “Strictly Humanitarian” to represent what the club stands for, due to feedback from students who were hesitant to join.
“APF is a non-partisan group,” Eklund said. “We want to take the politics out of caring for people. So many times students have not joined our club because they don’t want to ‘get political.’ But it’s not political to help a refugee. It’s not ‘political’ to give food to the starving. And that’s our goal. We’re going to give coats to the people that are cold. We’re going to visit the inmates in prison. We’re going to comfort the people who are grieving. That’s what we’re here for.”
APF is an independent, nonprofit organization that supports work for peacemaking and social justice, building upon the values of Seventh-day Adventist tradition, according to its website. Eklund said the club is ready to meet any need that comes its way — be it a student whose family needs food or a tug on someone’s heart to raise funds for refugees across the world.
Students who are interested in volunteering for the upcoming volunteer event or others in the future can email Eklund at email@example.com, and they do not have to be a member to help.
APF membership is free of cost. A volunteer opportunity through APF that is three hours or longer qualifies as community service credit, according to Eklund. Students interested in earning service credit will need to email Julie Devlin, humanitarian engagement coordinator for the Office of Ministry and Missions, to apply the credits to their degree audits.
“I want students to know there is never something too big or too small for APF to try to bring service to,” Eklund said. “Every concern is taken seriously. We will do whatever we possibly can to bring aid.”
Eklund said APF will post notifications and updates on its Instagram page, @sau_apf.