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Whitworth community to join Spokane nonprofits Sept. 23 for Community Building Day

September 10, 2015
On Wednesday, Sept. 23, approximately 1,000 Whitworth students, faculty and staff, including Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor and his wife, Julie, will lend a hand to organizations across Spokane in efforts to help strengthen the community. Community Building Day is foundational in fostering a lifelong ethic of social and civic responsibility in Whitworth students; it also provides valuable services to nonprofit agencies across Spokane.

For the fourth consecutive year Spokane Teachers Credit Union has generously provided financial support for the event, and STCU staff will serve alongside Whitworth volunteers.

This year Whitworth will partner with more than 35 agencies at nearly 50 service sites across the region, providing an economic impact of more than $110,000. Buses will depart from Hawthorne Hall on the Whitworth campus at 8 a.m. and will return to campus at noon for a lunch event in the Hixson Union Building. All Whitworth students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters are encouraged to participate.

New organizations participating in Community Building Day 2015 include:

  • First Presbyterian Church: Whitworth volunteers, including Beck and Julie Taylor, will do a walking tour of downtown Spokane to learn about services supporting the homeless. The group will also distribute hygiene items and socks to homeless and refugee populations.
  • Lands Council:  Volunteers will complete wetlands and habitat restoration projects along the Spokane River and its tributaries.
  • Liberty Park Child Development Center: Volunteers will canvas the South Perry neighborhood to distribute flyers in the Karen language, a Sino-Tibetan dialect. The flyers will inform the refugee community of free pre-school and English as a Second Language classes available.

In addition, Whitworth students majoring in physics and computer science will refurbish computers that will be distributed to women and families in need at St. Margaret’s Shelter, a program of Catholic Charities Spokane. To date, Whitworth students have refurbished more than 95 donated computers.

As in past years, Community Building Day will include a neighborhood clean-up in West Central, bringing Whitworth students into service alongside sixth graders from Holmes Elementary School. This service opportunity builds Holmes students’ pride in their neighborhood and gives them an opportunity to talk about attending college with Whitworth students.

Several Spokane organizations have partnered with Whitworth for more than five years on Community Building Day, including Girl Scouts, Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, and Catholic Charities. These agencies rely on Whitworth’s annual support in late summer to complete cleaning projects, to make improvements to facilities, and to prepare for winter and school-year programs.

Community Building Day is supported by Whitworth’s Dornsife Center for Community Engagement. The event is an annual Whitworth tradition that began in 1907 as a student-led campus-beautification endeavor called Campus Day. In the mid-1990s the event evolved into a partnership between local nonprofit organizations and Whitworth volunteers who work on clean-up and improvement projects throughout Spokane.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Kasey Culmback, program coordinator, Dornsife Center for Community Engagement, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4279 or .

Nancy Hines, director of communications, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4638 or