WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tammy Ball, division chair and professor of Human Services at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, attended the President’s Interfaith and Community Campus Challenge gathering in Washington, D.C. on September 22-23 at Gallaudet University.
The Challenge, enacted by President Barack Obama in 2011, was created through the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. President Obama has emphasized interfaith and community service as an important way to build understanding between different communities and contribute to the common good. Interfaith service involves people from different religious and non-religious backgrounds tackling community challenges together. Interfaith service impacts specific community challenges, from homelessness to mentoring to the environment, while building social capital and civility.
Ball said the gathering reemphasized the importance of civility and humanity.
“We see a lot of the hate in the world, but underneath it is a majority of people doing great things to impact their communities, their churches, their culture, and their neighbor,” said Ball. “Every little bit leads to a concentration of good deeds that are too often overlooked but nevertheless important to humanity. Deep down inside, regardless of where you’re from, what side of the aisle you stand, if any, we all want to leave this world a better place than what we inhabited.”
The gathering’s theme was “Where do we go from here?” The event was a celebration of cooperation and commitment to community service.
Ball and BSCTC Biology Professor Dr. Tom Vierheller spearhead the college’s community garden efforts. The garden was built through a grant by Appalachian Roots and has distributed tons of fresh produce to local food pantries for three years.
“It is work, but the work is so rewarding,” said Ball. “To know that we have played a role, as small as it may seem, towards the issue of hunger across our region demonstrates the essence of humanity and compassion.”
To learn more about the BSCTC Community Garden, contact Ball at (606) 889-4787 or email [email protected]