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The Agapé Center for Service and Learning

About Service Day


History of Service Day

Service Day was officially founded in 2000 as a result of the strong student support of the Area M Special Olympics games held on campus each year. Because so many students requested to be excused from class that day to help out, it just made sense to take the day off as an institution to give everyone the opportunity to serve. In addition to the Special Olympics games, students, faculty and employees were given the option to serve off campus on various projects with local churches and organizations.


athlete and buddy at the Special Olympics

Students working for Habitat for Humanity


Service Day at Messiah

Messiah College has held an annual, campus wide service event since 2000 as a corporate outpouring of our faith commitment to service. Every year, the Special Olympics games populate Starry Athletic Complex with competition, laughter, play, and new friendships. Teams of volunteers also go into Mechanicsburg, Dillsburg, Harrisburg, the Yellow Breeches and beyond to serve by building, cleaning, weeding, listening, learning, painting, and the list goes on! Partnerships are strengthened and even conceptualized through the efforts of Messiah volunteers on Service Day!


More than a One-Time Project

Although Service Day serves the community by getting a lot done in one day, the real benefits of the program extend throughout the school year. By serving together on this day, students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to establish community involvement as a priority and step out of their comfort zones to engage with the resources and needs of the community. As a result, participants are challenged to plug into any of the existing programs run by the Agape Center, or can even start new ones to continue their commitment to service! In addition, Service Day can serve as a launch pad for Service-Learning in the classroom.