Hunter Deiglmeier – Review staff writer. This past July, Professor of Health and Human Performance and head athletic trainer Tara Lepp, along with one of her students, senior Liz Waddell, worked with the Open Arms International organization in Kenya, Africa. The team of volunteers was also accompanied by Fox News reporters; both Lepp and Waddell were recently featured in an interview on the national news station.
“It was kind of cool to [have] Open Arms shown to other people; it was fun,” Waddell said.
She said enjoyed the news interview because it showed her family and friends in the United States what she had been doing in Africa.
“It was exciting,” Lepp said. “It was really good publicity for Open Arms and a plus for Linfield.”
Her position as a Linfield professor was mentioned in the interview. This trip to Africa was Lepp’s 10th with Open Arms International.
The organization is relatively new; it was founded six years ago to help impoverished Kenyan children, families and individuals.
Open Arms International provides not only medical care but also spiritual enrichment, as volunteers spread the message of the gospel everyday while working to help ameliorate the ill and injured people of the village, Lepp said.
“The reason I continue to go is because I am impressed with the ability [of the program] to help people spiritually and physically,” Lepp said. “The [interview with Fox News] really gave [Open Arms] good exposure.”
The Open Arms organization is headquatered in Kenya, Africa, and offers volunteer opportunities mainly during the summer; times, however, may vary. Spaces are open for a trip scheduled for summer 2010, Lepp said. She said she hopes to continue her work with the program next summer.
If students are interested in the program, they can contact Lepp at email@example.com.