Volunteer fair helps burst the bubble

Students first coined the term “JBU bubble” to refer to the tendency to stay inside the John Brown University community.

The Student Ministries Leadership Team is attempting to “burst the bubble” by encouraging students to reach outside of the University and volunteer in the community of Siloam Springs.

Junior Adam Hodge, the outreach ministry intern on SMLT this year, planned the second annual volunteer fair, along with Senior Will Chesher and Katie Davis.

“The goal of the Volunteer Fair is to celebrate the different volunteer organizations in the area, as well as to connect the faculty and students with the directors of these organizations in attempt to offer more outreach options to the body of JBU,” said Hodge. “We want to recognize the work that the Lord is doing off-campus, by bringing them on-campus and showing them our appreciation and support.”

To kick off the volunteer fair, Joe Butler, founder of the Ability Tree, an organization which enables families that have children with disabilities, spoke in chapel Aug. 30.

Butler challenged students to, “start giving just one hour a week or more, [because] it might change your life.”

Butler said every good story starts with stumbling upon a passion. This is true in Butler’s own life. Ability Tree began with a new awareness and heart for disabled children after Butler’s son, Micah, was diagnosed with developmental delays.

Micah’s attentiveness to others with special needs—a group of people who are usually marginalized—gave Butler a passion to have eyes for those often unseen.

“I have learned more from [his] 11 year old than [he] has from anyone in [his] life besides God,” Butler said.

From Butler’s personal experience and new-found passion he started a non-profit that serves families with disabilities in Siloam Springs.

CAUSE Ministries

– Cornerstone: Michael Merris

– Nursing Home Ministry: Dylan Smith

– Community Service Outreach: Moses Clark

– Right Lead and Right Quest: Lennette McClarty

– Child Evangelism Fellowship – Mikayla Roberts

– Jail Ministry: Nick Kopp & Meredith Sloan

– Side by Side: Lea Finder & Maria Alecio Romero

– Escape: Kaleb Bledsoe

– JBU Nature Society: Cody Bowlin & Brian Morsman

– Great Abandon: Lisa Mayhue

– Partners in Prayer: Laura Nelson


-Bridges to Wellness: Emerson Goodwin, 479-549-3143,

-American Red Cross: Linda Morgan, 479-306-4688, ext. 207,

-Kind at Heart Ministries: Wayne Thomas, 479-238-4608,

-New Beginnings Pregnancy Services: Melissa Horton, 479-549-3322,

-Main Street: Meredith Bergstrom, 479-524-4556,

-Dogwood Literacy Council, Inc: John Marter, 479-524-4009,

-Northwest Arkansas Head Start: Amy Sasser, 479-636-7317,

-Genesis House, Inc.: Melissa Horton, 479-549-3322,