Community House benefits from George Fox students
by: Cliff Newell, 
George Fox University student Krista Ray couldn’t help but smile at one of the babies at Community House in Lake Oswego. Ray and nine other George Fox students were at the home as part of their university’s Serve Day.

All kinds of people appreciate it when the students of George Fox University go out for their annual Serve Day.

But social work professor Sue Newell's students had an especially appreciative group at the Community House in Lake Oswego on Sept. 5: Babies.

Community House is a home dedicated to helping unwed mothers and their children get off to a good start on their lives together, and the social work students were there to help the situation, with cleaning, arranging and sorting. But it's more than that, too.

'For our girls it was the beginning of a relationship with other girls in a different life situation,' Newell said. 'They weren't there just to clean out closets. When they were scrapbooking together it was an interpersonal thing.'

In the scrapbooking, the students helped the young mothers compile albums full of photos and anecdotes about their babies. It was also a great time for the students and moms to talk.

Community House program director Chris Jensen was thrilled to host the George Fox students for the day.

'I am very excited to have them here,' said Jensen. 'From the past I have found that George Fox students have wonderful hearts, and homes like ours really depend on volunteers.

'I just love them. They have the right heart to do this work.'

All 10 students live in the Women's Ministry House at George Fox University in Newberg. Most of them are preparing for careers of serving others, and Community House was a good place for that.

Especially with sleeping babies rocking gently away. The girls met remarkably cute babies like 'Meatloaf,' who earned that nickname from his mother for weighing in at a robust 9 pounds at birth.

Of course, such service is not always easy. Jensen showed that when she told the students the story of Community House, which has already accumulated many glowing success stories in its few years of existence.

'The girls here are different but they're great,' Jensen said. 'They just need to be loved.'

For Serve Day there were 64 designated places for service, and for Newell's students Community House was perfect.

'It was exactly what I had in mind for Serve Day,' said Sharon Thompson, who has already done missionary work on Native American reservations with troubled youth.

The Fox girls and the Community House girls will be getting together again.

'We won't be cleaning closets the next time,' Newell said. 'We'll have pizza together.'

Maybe Meatloaf can come along.

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