Westminster’s Center for Faith and Service Aids Nashville Residents

Fulton, MO—April 24, 2020: The Center for Faith and Service (CFS) at Westminster College is not allowing COVID-19 to deter its goal of helping others. Despite social distancing, the small organization is using funds from its canceled Alternative Sprint Break in Nashville, TN, to aid those devastated by the March 3 tornado that hit middle Tennessee.

Keller Hawkins, Chaplain Resident and CFS Coordinator of Community Engagement, explains that donating the Alternative Spring Break funds allotted to the Center for Faith and Service by Westminster’s Student Government Association will allow the group to continue with plans to help the Nashville community.

“Keeping in mind the places we were going to volunteer while on our trip, the Alternative Spring Break team decided to give two sizeable donations to two organizations on the ground in Nashville: Gideon’s Army and The Nashville Food Project,” Hawkins says.

Gideon’s Army is a community based, black-led grassroots coalition that focuses its efforts on restorative justice.

Hawkins says that North Nashville is a particularly vulnerable community. Gideon’s Army is on the front lines there despite COVID-19 in efforts to provide support, hope and relief to residents.

“We know there is immense need, and the historically black North Nashville neighborhood is often cast aside in times like these,” Hawkins reflects. “Our students want to support those who need it most, which is why we have chosen Gideon’s Army for part of our donated funds.”

Likewise, Alternative Spring Break team donations to The Nashville Food Project (NFP) will allow the organization to continue its mission of alleviating hunger in the city. The organization jumped in to help with tornado relief by preparing and delivering hot meals to those who lost their homes as well as first responders and other volunteers.

“Right now, more than ever, with the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the NFP is valiantly carrying on their work and providing food for those most at risk, particularly those still healing from the wrath of the tornado,” Hawkins says.

The Center for Faith and Service has sponsored an Alternative Spring Break for four years, traveling to cities such as Fort Worth, TX, Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, and Memphis, TN, to work on projects that help others in need.

Hawkins explains that although the students’ plans to travel to Nashville were cut short, each member of the Alternative Spring Break team is proud the money earmarked for the trip will be put to good use.

She adds, “Our team wants to continue the work they intended to do before COVID-19 in the best way we know how, and that is financially.”

For more information on how to give to Gideon’s Army and The Nashville Food Project, or to learn more about the Center for Faith and Service, please visit our website here.

Founded in 1851 and home of Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech, Westminster College in Fulton, MO, is ranked prestigiously by U.S. News & World Report as a National Liberal Arts College. The institution is in the top 15 percent for graduate earnings and boasts a 98 percent placement rate. Westminster also is a Forbes Best Value College. Westminster focuses on educating and inspiring students to find the power in their purpose in order to become the world leaders of tomorrow.

To find out more about Westminster, visit our website here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Sarah Backer at 573 592-5438, 573-220-9038 or Sarah.Backer@westminster-mo.edu.


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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.