The Associated Students of the University of Portland student government recently hosted a semi-annual service day in honor of Molly Hightower, a 2009 graduate. About 30 student leaders gathered under the Burnside Bridge to greet people who are homeless and serve a hot meal. Homeless Portlanders can also receive a free haircut, shave, have their feet washed and have their old shoes, clothes and sleeping bags replaced.
In 2010, the student government instituted a semi-annual service day in memory of Hightower, who died in the earthquake in Haiti while volunteering with special needs orphans. Each semester, student leaders gather to perform service either on campus or in the community.
“We chose to set aside one day each semester to remind ourselves that leadership and service work go hand-in-hand,” said Brock Vasconcellos, president of the student government.
Previous service day events have included neighborhood clean-ups, helping with the Portland Marathon, and assisting with a blood drive.