Student foundation expanding outreach amid pandemic

When the need for services began to expand outside of campus, members began collaborating with other organizations to increase outreach.

Posted: Sep 24, 2020 3:02 PM
Updated: Sep 26, 2020 10:05 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — An organization at Purdue is reaching outside of the campus limits and into the community.

"We don't, per se, have a benevolent offering where we do that, but how can we not help? So, we figure it out," said Baptist Student Foundation Pastor and Director Rodney Lynch.

Figuring out how to help in any way possible has always been a part of The Baptist Student Foundation's mission.

But it became even more necessary when Purdue closed campus in March.

"There was like a whole population of students that were like wanderers in the West Lafayette area," said Director of Advancement Deanna McMillan. "For those who didn't have transportation, everything they needed, if it wasn't provided here, was inaccessible."

So, The Found kept its doors open.

"We are part of the West Lafayette community," McMillan said. "We are not just open when the Purdue campus is open, and that's what makes some of these services so valuable."

When the need for services began to expand outside of campus, members began collaborating with other organizations to increase outreach.

"It really gives us an opportunity to really be who we say we are followers and disciples of Jesus," said Lynch. "Not sitting back waiting for people to just come to our building, but to go out and be in the community."

That includes taking in donations of non-perishable food and toiletries. If they don't have what is needed, they work to educate people on what resources are available.

The Found also serves as a place of fellowship for everyone, no matter what religion or background.

"It has challenged us as leaders and us as staff members to open our doors to people in a way that we haven't opened our doors before," added McMillan.

The Found continues to collaborate with organizations in the community. Through that effort, they can act as a beacon of hope for anyone in need.

"We want to build bridges, not walls," said Lynch. "We want to bring people together."

The Found still needs volunteers and donations.

To find out how to help, click here.

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