Time old tradition, ‘Steppin’ Out’ perseveres through pandemic restrictions

April 10th marks a day of volunteering and donating, part of Baylor's years-long tradition dubbed "Steppin' Out." Photo Courtesy of Doriann Beverly

By Brennen DiMarzo | Reporter

The annual Steppin’ Out service event on Baylor’s campus had taken a new form this semester in order to allow students to serve during COVID-19. Traditionally, this event happens every fall but was rescheduled to April 10.

“With the onset of the pandemic, the team had to pivot, and we created the Steppin’ In Challenge,” Doriann Beverly, Steppin’ Out planning committee advisor said. “This new challenge allowed volunteers to serve remotely through several virtual, contact-free or other socially-distanced activities.”

Some of these online challenges include “Charity Miles,” an app that tracks your walking or running distance. In return for your recorded miles, companies will donate to a charity of your choice. Another online opportunity is the “Free Rice” online word game that donates rice for each correct answer.

Along with lowering the total number of volunteers for COVID-19, Beverly said they are focusing on cleaning up Waco instead of the other kinds of charity work they typically perform.

“In a normal year, we have around 2,000 volunteers. This year we lowered it to 400. We are also focusing on more of the outdoor work because of COVID,” said Santa Ana sophomore Anna Shipcott, Steppin’ Out co-director. “In the past, we have gone into the community and helped locals with house projects and such.”

Shipcott said she joined Steppin’ Out her freshman year and enjoyed being a part of the service event.

“I was looking for more ways to get involved freshman year and it’s a great way to get involved, help and serve the community, as well as build relationships,” she said.

On April 10, volunteers will be participating in highway cleanup, outdoor cleanup and garden renovation. There will also be a drive-thru “Fill the Truck” food drive for the Waco community.

While not as large this year, Beverly said Steppin’ Out is still making an impact in the Waco community and serves as a great way for students to carry on Baylor’s mission. Students can visit their website to get more information or go online to register.

“By volunteering to serve others, we are living out Baylor’s mission of educating men and women for worldwide leadership and service,” Beverly said. “This is the perfect time to begin building the foundation for a lifelong commitment to serving others. What better way to find a sense of belonging than through a Baylor tradition 36 years strong?”