Alumni leaders plan coast-to-coast service
StreetFest International debuts this September

Imagine the positive outcomes when thousands of people work together toward one common goal in serving our Lord and learning about his creation. While Calvin alumni strive to do this every day as they live out their calling, the Calvin Alumni Association Board is initiating a collective service-learning activity from coast to coast.

This fall, the association hopes to expand its mission with a “Calvin StreetFest International” event. All alumni chapters are being urged to serve alongside one another for one day during the extended week of Saturday, Sept. 3, through Sunday, Sept. 11. This coincides with StreetFest 2011 (Sept. 1–3) when new Calvin students will participate in service-learning activities throughout the local Grand Rapids community. See StreetFest International.

“We’re asking for participation now in identifying projects and leaders that would deepen partnerships within the larger community of God’s kingdom and in turn increase awareness that our alma mater cares about service and learning together,” said Jon Kuyers ’89, association president-elect and chair of this initiative. “Due to the fact that our alumni quite literally span the globe, these service-learning activities can happen at any time during that week and need not be tied to a specific day.”

Some of the approaches might include coming alongside the existing good work of local non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity or participating with a local church in its efforts to help a neighbor paint a house.

“The nature of the service-learning projects will vary widely, but we are hoping that the experience for our alumni and their communities will have some common threads,” said Kuyers.

The association, with expert assistance from Calvin’s service-learning office, is putting together a “tool kit” with suggestions for deepening the learning and maximizing the service activity. This information will include suggestions for ways to introduce participants to the strengths and assets of existing communities, as well as questions for during and after-service reflection time.
“We see, for example, a strong link between the communal worship of God and the effective service of His people, and we’ll include suggestions for scripture and song that may help groups in their mutual service-learning efforts,” Kuyers said.

If alumni have questions about StreetFest International, they can contact Emily Dock, the associate director of alumni relations.