By Kara Blomquist
Five Baylor students and two Baylor-associated organizations received recognition for their volunteer work at the Mission Waco Mission World banquet Tuesday.
The students won Volunteer of the Year awards. Brooks Residential College and Zeta Zigga Zamma received special recognition.
The awards give the nonprofit a chance to recognize its volunteers, said Seth Dorrell, director of Mission World and volunteer director.
“Our organization runs through volunteers,” he said. “We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers.”
Mission Waco gave out 18 Volunteer of the Year awards. The categories included businesses, churches, philanthropies, adults, students and special recognition.
Brooks College was honored for its weekly work with Mission Waco’s King’s Club.
Brooks residents play with children at an underprivileged apartment complex each Saturday morning through the King’s Club. While there, the students lead a short Bible study.
The student winners can come from any community, but this year Baylor swept the category.
Robinson junior Emily Netherland, Las Cruces, N.M., senior Jarrod Tunnell, Waco senior Kyle Kearns, Cypress senior Giahan Pham and Robinson junior Jaren Salazar were recognized for their work with Mission Waco.
Of all the student recipients, Tunnel logged the most volunteer hours, with 132.75 as of Nov. 15.
Dr. Christopher Blocker, assistant professor in the Hankamer School of Business, received an adult Volunteer of the Year award.
Associate professor of sociology Kevin Dougherty spoke at the banquet about what he said he believed was the structural problem of poverty. He offered some practical solutions to the community’s shrinking concept of its neighborhood.
“To expand the neighborhood, we have to know our neighbor,” he said.
Mission Waco provides a neighbor-making space, he said. Through the organization, individuals meet others in their community who aren’t like them.
Mission Waco appreciates all its volunteers, said Jimmy Dorrell, executive director and co-founder of Mission Waco Mission World.
“It’s the on-going week-to-week people that really are the ones we celebrate,” he said.
Director of Mission World Seth Dorrell said the winners didn’t apply for the award. Their respective Mission Waco program directors nominated them.
“It’s not necessarily a popularity contest,” he said. “It’s more of an opportunity to say these are the people that have shown a lot of giving this year with their time.”
Jimmy Dorrell said he appreciates all of the Baylor volunteers.
“Baylor students are great because most of them come with good hearts,” he said. “Their worlds are relatively small. They don’t know this world. They’re interested. They want to have a bigger world view.”
Seth Dorrell said Mission Waco’s goal is to help people help themselves.
“We’re an empowerment model,” he said. “We’re not trying to come in and do it ourselves. We want to train and teach people how to do it for themselves.”
Volunteers help the organization achieve that goal, he said.
“Our organization couldn’t do as much as it does without volunteers, and especially Baylor students being a part of that,” he said.
Jimmy Dorrell said he believes the Baylor volunteers benefit from the experience.
“It’s just so fun to watch part of their life emerge that they even didn’t know was there until they were volunteering,” he said.
Jimmy Dorrell said he enjoys seeing Baylor’s participation in Mission Waco’s programs.
“We’re excited about that because we want Baylor and the community to work together,” he said.
Other award recipients included Volunteer of the Year award adult honorees David Netherland, Latrice Caufield, Larry Lenstra and Dr. Artie Sudan.
Home Abstract and Title Co. and Stiba Wealth Management were recognized as businesses of the year. Mission Waco honored Antioch Community Church and Lake Shore Baptist Church as churches of the year.
Charles and Diane Schlecte and American Income Life were honored as philanthropies of the year.