By Amanda Hayes
Saturday marks the 30th anniversary of Steppin’ Out, and Rebecca Langford, a member of the external committee for the event, said the Baylor community will serve Waco, rain or shine.
The committee is keeping an eye on weather conditions, but service at the indoor sites will continue regardless, Langford said. The decision on whether or not the outdoor events will be postponed or cancelled, will be announced on the event’s social media accounts at noon on Friday.
Steppin’ Out is a program that provides service to the greater Waco community, by coordinating volunteer service days once each semester. It is one of the largest community service projects on American college campuses and is nationally recognized for its commitment to service, according to its website.
This semester, the program is partnering with environmental nonprofit Keep Waco Beautiful to host a Trash-Off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pecan Bottoms.
Keep Waco Beautiful program director Ashley Millerd said under the leadership of student director Tyler Couch, the event has been more organized this year, compared to past years. Event coordinators have a better idea of what to expect, Millerd said, and they anticipate about 500 volunteers at the Trash-Off.
Millerd said Keep Waco Beautiful normally helps clean the Brazos River or donates supplies to Steppin’ Out, but will operate from six locations this year.
“This past fall at Steppin’ Out, we picked up 13 tons of trash,” Millerd said. “I would love if we could even do it more than twice a year.”
Millerd said all the locations will be outside, so she is hoping to continue with the set plans or see them rescheduled soon. The organization benefits from volunteers, Millerd said. Volunteer information can be found at www.keepwacobeautiful.com.
Langford said changes were made to make this year’s registration process more organized. Langford said the biggest change was moving all the information to an online program called OrgSync, and removing the paperwork involved when organizations register for the event.
Langford said OrgSync streamlines communication and allows organization members to pick the sites where they want to work, and sign up on their own.
This gives students control over what they sign up for, Langford said, and gives them a choice in the process rather than having someone else assign them a job.
“Steppin’ Out bridges the gap between the Waco community and Baylor students,” Langford said “It helps us get out of our ‘Baylor Bubble.’”