HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 16, 2018 – High Point University’s faculty and staff kicked off the new academic year by giving back to the community.
At a campus-wide meeting on Tuesday, 1,000 HPU employees came together in the Millis Center for a team building event, where, together, they built 116 bikes.
Today, those bikes were donated to local children, all of whom are participants in day camps at the Carl Chavis YMCA and the High Point YWCA. The children were brought to campus on HPU buses for the surprise event.
Nine-year-old Zion Robinson and his sister, 8-year-old Reya Robinson, both of High Point, say they love visiting the HPU campus for events like Community Christmas and today’s surprise.
“I saw Santa here back at Christmas,” Robinson said. “I’m feeling excited to be around all of these people and back at HPU. I really love it here and can’t believe I got a bike today.”
“This is just another example of High Point University making a positive impact on the lives of children in our city,” said Carlvena Foster, vice president of the Carl Chavis YMCA. “This experience today plants the seed to give back once you are able to. It also provides them with exposure to an amazing university campus, which shows them what is attainable in their future and how they can prepare for that now. One child even said that he now wants to go to HPU for college.”
The HPU family has held several campus-wide meetings this week to prepare staff for a successful year. The team building exercise focused on communication as well as getting to know employees across campus.
“I’ve told you before that High Point University is High Point’s University,” HPU President Nido Qubein told the crowd at today’s event. “We have done so many things in this community. More than one million hours of student volunteerism alone has served practically every nonprofit in this community. We have hundreds of you who are serving and volunteering. As much as we do, we must do more. And this school is dedicated and committed to continuing that. Sometimes there are children out there whose lot in life is not as good as they’d like it to be. So our staff and faculty came together on Tuesday, built these bikes, and then collectively decided to give these bikes to children in this community who do not have a bike. It is symbolic of what this university stands for – to help others when you can, to reach beyond yourself and plant a seed of greatness in the life of another human being.”
Leading up to Tuesday’s bike building exercise and today’s donation, faculty and staff were completely surprised.
“This was the culmination of everything. We worked together as a faculty and staff team to build this bike together,” says Doug Hall, assistant director of Career and Professional Development Office. “We didn’t expect this was something we were going to be doing coming in, but knowing that we were getting together to build bikes, knowing that we were going to give them to children who we would actually get to see, I didn’t see that one coming. That was exciting.”
“The process of creating these bikes and the team building component was great for us as employees,” said Jamie Martin, assistant to the dean in the Congdon School of Health Sciences. “But the fact that we were going to bless a child in our community with these bikes is something I’ve been looking forward to all week.”