Extra Mile Love 2012

April 18th, 2012 / 76 Comments

About forty students in my university class went the extra mile to show love. Their creative efforts made a difference!

I teach students to consider going beyond what is normal when showing love. In philosophical language, this is called “supererogation.” It’s basically what Jesus talked about when he said we should go the extra mile with those who need more than the usual help.

The forty students in the class came up with some creative ideas for showing extra mile love. Here is a small sampling of the ways students went above and beyond in their love.

Rachel Beers decided to write letters to a fellow student whose fiancé was diagnosed with cancer and was going through treatment. Rachel wrote letters of encouragement, prayers, and even sent her gift cards to various stores through her campus mailbox. Although Rachel did not know the girl personally, she continued to show extra mile love through her letters. This project forced Beers to consider other’s problems before her own and show kindness to people she didn’t know well.

Dan Benjamin expressed his extra mile love by serving the homeless in the Boise area. Dan walked around Boise with some warm blankets, offering them to the homeless people he came across and trying to start a conversation. The first man Dan to whom offered the blanket refused it, but Dan still set the blanket near him anyways. Dan went on to find another homeless man and sat down to start a conversation with him. Even though Dan was rejected by the first man, Dan continued on his journey of extra mile love and was able to give some of his time to others in need.

Kelsey Koch decided to demonstrate her extra mile love as a girl’s cheer coach at South Middle School in Nampa. She decided to observe her girls during each game at which they cheered and write each a letter about how proud she was of them. She picked three girls to observe each game and then would give these three girls letters of encouragement at the end of cheer practice. Kelsey demonstrated her love for her cheer squad through words of encouragement and praise. Even though some girls may have been difficult to deal with, Kelsey was able to stretch herself and show love and appreciation for all.

Megan Leis decided to show love to military personnel around the world. To brighten their days, Megan made cards for these men and women. She used an organization called A Million Thanks that deliver cards to active military personnel. Megan made especially sure to create one of a kind cards in a gesture of gratitude and love towards these who may be feeling lonely and unloved. Megan used her time wisely to come up with meaningful and unique saying for these cards. She wanted to make sure that her hard work and love shown through.

Colby McCarty decided to shower his love on Seattle’s homeless population. To do this, Colby filled Ziploc bags with essential items that homeless people may not have, such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, granola bars, other various food items, and more. When distributing the Ziploc bags in a place dubbed “The Jungle,” Colby had many loving conversations with the people living there.  This project helped Colby realize his potential to love everyone and be thoughtful about those in need.  In the future, Colby hopes to create even more relationships with Seattle’s homeless population.

Stephanie Thomas demonstrated her extra mile love by writing to inmates. Stephanie used an online website to find prisoners to whom she wanted to extend a loving hand. Stephanie wrote to four inmates, all of which responded with vigor and enthusiasm. The inmates wrote pages of letters to Stephanie, and Stephanie responded to them all. Even though Stephanie struggled with what to write these inmates, her pen pals showed her gratitude and love in response to her act of extra mile love.

Kaylee Wilkes chose to focus her extra mile love project on an old high school friend who was dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. Kaylee bought the girl baby supplies, such as diapers and wipes, in order to save the girl both time and money. Kaylee also wanted to show the girl love and support because she was going through a rough time in her life. Kaylee showed her love for this girl by spending what little money she had in order to help her friend with financial problems. In the end, Kaylee learned how to put herself into other’s shoes and show people the kind of live and support that they deserved.

(My daughter, Sydnee Oord, helped with the writing of this blog.)

Add comment


Alicia Hedrick

All of these different ideas were interesting to read about. I was especially impressed on what Stephanie Thomas did with writing the letters to inmates in prison. If I were in her shoes, I would have no clue what to write about as well. I cannot imagine being in their shoes and having only a limited amount of space to live in. I was happy to read that all four of the inmates wrote back excitedly, but can understand why they did so. People who are not in prison tend to take for granted what we have and are allowed to do. One choice can change it all as it did with the inmates that Stephanie wrote to. If I were an inmate, I would feel especially blessed, loved, and touched that someone I did not even know took time out of their day to write to me and ask how I was doing. It is amazing how something as simple as a letter can turn around your entire outlook on life.

Cody Marie Bolton

Dr. Oord, when you mentioned this assignment in class earlier tonight, I had, literally, a gazillion different things I could possibly do. I am very excited for this project and I am very fascinated with what other students have done in the past. I still have absolutely no idea what I am going to do, but this is going to be one of the best homework assignments I am going to get this semester for sure.

As I sit here and think about this assignment a little bit, I am thinking that I will do something special for a few children in my church who are going through a really rough time.

Erin Rickart

There are some really great ideas here. I especially like the idea about writing letters to inmates or military personel because they don’t seem to get much attention. When I heard about this assignment in class I was really excited about it but didn’t know where to begin. Reading what past students had done is giving me a pretty good starting point. Now I just need to come up with an original idea.

Darci Curtin

I am looking forward to this assignment. Although I am not sure what I am going to do for it yet, reading these examples gives me inspiration and I can imagine how loved each recipient felt when receiving these acts. I know the recipient of Rachel Beers letters and I know that they were appreciated. I have always been fond of writing/receiving letters and I can see here that a lot of the extra mile love projects have to do with that. I know that I will have to decide whether it will be a single large act, or a smaller act that is spread throughout the semester.

Sara Butkus

So many times it is easy for us students to get caught up in our own lives. We get so stressed about our busy schedules that we don’t take time to look at the world around us. I wish it wasn’t true, but sometimes it is only assignments like these that force us to look beyond ourselves. I am hoping that not only will this assignment change my perspective on life, but that I can take my project and continue loving the extra mile even after this class is over.

Davis Halle

It is so awesome to see how NNU students are reaching out to their communities, friends, and the less fortunate to share love. Love is something not everyone deserves but God calls us to show it unconditionally and these students did a wonderful job expressing this “Christ like” love we are called to have here at NNU. It will be difficult to figure out what I would like to do for this project but I hope to impact the lives of those who need to feel love the most, much like these students have done.

Laura Shacklett

All of these people thought of such amazing projects and put so much time and dedication into it. I really liked the idea of writing to inmates because it is hard to love on someone who has done wrong in their past. It is a lot easier said than done to forgive everyone and to treat them like you would like to be treated. I would have struggled on what to talk to the inmates about and how to show them love and compassion. It is always hard to be out of your comfort zone, however, usually when you reach out and do something you would not do on a regular basis you are able to learn and grow so much! All of these NNU students did wonderful things that may have seemed small to them but I am sure made a huge impact on the people they met.

Preston Ake

I am very proud to know two of the individuals, Rachel Beers and Dan Benjamin, who extended their loving hands. When hearing about stories of altruism it is very easy to forget or ignore the actual people involved. Since I personally know two of these individuals, it really puts a face on the acts of kindness they did. I hope that I can to do something amazing for someone in need that not only helps, but inspires. This page has definitely got me thinking, who in need am I passionate enough about to do this project on?

Steven Coles

I really enjoy this idea! I think we tend to, as American Christians, forget the ‘extra mile’ that Jesus took when he was ministering to people, especially in his day. He would sit and eat with prostitutes, tax collectors, and even sinners, yet we often find ourselves seeking comfort and pleasure where we live, when down the street there is someone who needs to know the love of Jesus. I think part of this might be because we as Americans Christian have so many luxuries that we assume that things are not as bad for those who do not have the said luxuries.

Nicholas Carpenter

Something I find very wonderful about most of these is the writing letters. Hand-written letters has become a lost art in the recent years of technology and I find it very encouraging to see some people still use this as an expression of appreciation or affection.

Also the outreach in communities makes a significant difference because it gives the heart and idea someone has hands and feet to live it out, which also does not happen often in our culture of “do what I can to get by; looking out for #1”.

Both of these show an importance for building relationships with people and reminding others that they are cared for a loved, even if it’s something as simple as a blanket or letter, which can make all the difference in someone’s life.

beth castro

Without knowing what kind of responses you are looking for, I will start with the internal struggle I find myself in, after being in only 1 class.  Gosh, I really need to get out and offer myself to a cause.  I have been blessed in my life in so many ways.  I feel that I would be able to help in a lot of different areas, yet I never do.  I will usually find an “excuse” and put if off until next time.  But you know what?  Next time is here.  These examples of going the extra mile have inspired me, and after watching the movie about the children in the red light district and the help the woman making the documentary offered, I feel pretty selfish.  One of the main teachings of God is to love.  And what better way to honor God then to pass the love on.  Even the smallest gesture can make a big difference.  I’m ready.

Derek Sepe

This is particularly a good blog to read about. When we initially think of the extra mile love project, we might think it needs to be elaborate and a direct expression of love to another human. Though projects such as those can and often do work, it doesn’t need to be. These projects were seemingly normal random acts of kindness – RAK – that helped spread joy in other people’s lives. It at least helped me to realize that I don’t need to cook up a huge plan to express love to another. All I need to do is something simply that both challenges my limits and spread the love of Christ in a simply way.

Tim Stieglitz

(This is my opinion, I’m not claiming my views are biblical whatsoever)

      I find that most of these cases aren’t necessarily strong examples of caring, investing, lasting love but simply people caring for their fellow man through charity and community service. These are just actions that’ll make these students feel better about their contribution to their community. Granted I don’t have any suggestions that I believe could show true love to strangers over the course of one semester, but simply the idea ‘random acts of kindness’ and ‘paying it forward’ are interesting concepts within themselves since it suggest that we intervene in someone’s life for a period of time and then forget about them following this class. So I don’t see this as acts of love, but charity.

Charity is short-term. Love is long-term.

    “My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”- Ayn Rand, 1965

Shanna Rippy

Reading this post about what my peers are doing to show love to people made me think about how many different ways there are to show love. Like we discussed in class, love can take many forms and I think that in order for our love to be genuine and fully reach the people it is intended for, it needs to be within the context of the situation. Providing some basic need or encouragement is not belittling the situation someone is in, but giving us a way to connect with them. These situations provide ways to connect and show love in a very real way. Hearing of what past students have done make me very excited to do my project.

Tara McClees

I really enjoyed reading about these. They remind me of random acts of kindness, but on more of a long-term, not-so-random level. They look like they were well-planned, well-executed, and made a positive difference for everyone involved, whether they were strangers, acquaintances, or friends. I am now looking forward to trying this project myself, and these stories are getting my gears working on some ideas.

April Kerbyson

These acts of love inspire and motivate me to do something for those less fortunate than me. After watching the Born Into Brothels video, I am reminded of how blessed I am and how much I have to offer.  Often I feel as if I don’t have much to offer, but after reading about what other students like me have done, I’ve learned that going the “extra mile” doesn’t necessarily mean planning a huge charity event or giving extravagant gifts.  Instead, a little act of love or kindness goes a long way and can sometimes have the most impact on someone’s life.  All it takes is a little time and effort to write a note of encouragement or spend time with someone in need.  I am excited for this project, and I hope to keep up going the “extra mile” even after I have completed the assignment.

Elisha Storm

I am really grateful for these examples because when I read the assignment, I was thinking I had to go extreme, as usual. These example provides great, simple but impacting ways to demonstrate love. I feel that actions speak louder than words, and that this way of demonstrating love is extremely powerful. I feel that this demonstration of love is lacking in a lot of our personal lives, myself included. This project doesn’t feel like a homework assignment, honestly. It just feels like points are an added bonus to doing a really good deed.

Taylor Watson

These stories are so inspiring! I am so excited to start working on an extra mile love project! I did a project similar to this in a university class last semester and I am so thankful that I get the opportunity to continue that. I believe that these extra mile love projects should not be something that people do for just a semester or for a few months, but rather that they become part of who a person is. I want reaching out and serving and loving others to become a part of who I am.

Thiago Alberto

I believe this project is an amazing way for the students to have an opportunity to really give of themselves.  After reading some of the examples for this project, I have realized that I’ve never really done any acts of love which completely puts me out of my comfort zone.  Some of these examples would be extremely hard to do.  I believe as Christians a lot of don’t really pay attention to one of the core messages in our Gospel “Love”. I am hoping to be able to give more of myself to others after this project and I’m hoping to be able show love in ways I’ve never shown before.

Emily Curty

What is so great about all of these projects is the fact that they are so personal. Each student chose something that truly made a difference in their own lives as well as the lives of others. It was great to read these anecdotes to get some ideas going.

I was especially moved by the project Megan Leis chose. There are so many people in my life that are in the service, and from their stories I can easily see how Megan’s letter made a positive difference in the lives of those who received her notes.

Benjamin Messmer

Reading this post helps me realize that it is not only the “big” things in life that we show love to others.  It is the small acts of kindness that end up making the most difference in others life’s.  Stopping and taking the time to look around for opportunities to help others can seem overwhelming, but if I only start by helping or acting on the small everyday issues that I see, a great impact can still be made.

Teagan Cameron

It was really touching to read all of the amazing ways fellow students were Christ like in the world. And I know almost all of them which made it even more touching to see people that I see all the time (or used to because a majority graduated) really living out Matthew 6:3 “But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” They didn’t brag about any of these things, I didn’t know about any of them until reading this. It is really awesome to be apart of a community that really strive to benefit others despite worldly glory, it was for the joy of serving and love. Yes it may have started out as an assignment but it turned into so much more. Dr. Gorman actually did this project as well in Intro to Theology and I was able to paint the nails of mothers and daughters in low income situation and the other women involved cut their hair, all of it for free. It was a simple way to give back and make the women feel beautiful and loved. It really was eye opening to see how simple it is to make some else’s day and show them love and I am really looking forward to doing it again!

Teagan Cameron

It was really touching to read all of the amazing ways that fellow students were Christ like in the world. And I know almost all of them which made it even more touching to know that people I see all the time (or used to because a majority graduated) are really living out Matthew 6:3, “But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” They didn’t brag about any of these things, I didn’t know about any of them until reading this. It is really awesome to be apart of a community that really strive to benefit others despite worldly glory, it was for the joy of making some one feel loved. Dr. Gorman actually did this project in my Intro to Theology class and I was able to give manicures to mothers and daughters in low income situations and the others women helping me cut their hair, all free of charge. It really was amazing to see the difference that it all made by simply taking time to make them feel beautiful and loved. Overall I am really excited to do this project again!

Priscilla Cuevas

When I first read about the extra mile love project, I was concerned on how much of an impact I could make in little Nampa, Idaho. However, reading about Dan and how he went out and gave blankets to the homeless, or Megan who sent letters to soldiers, I realized I can show so much love from wherever I may be. I am very excited to go the extra mile and show love and in doing so I hope that by the end of this project I will have grown as a person and Christian.

Elora Drake

Wow when I first heard about this assignment my mind very narrowly could only think of few small gestures I heard about before. Reading about all of these awesome gestures of love and kindness has helped me to broaden my idea base and now the difficult part will be deciding what I want to do most. I am excited for this project to begin and looking forward to all the good things it will hopefully bring about.

Christie Thorwart

I was impressed with the steps these students took to show love to those they have never even met. I will go out of my way to help my friends and family. It is easy to demonstrate love to those I know and care about.  While that is good, it is not necessarily what God has called His children to do. God calls us to help the poor, the widows, the orphans… I cannot say I have lived up to that. I think this extra mike assignment is a great idea to get us to nave step out of our comfort zone and demonstrate God’s love, and I am looking forward to it.  However, I hope it doesn’t just stop at an assignment. I hope it creates within us the desire to actively show love to others even after we complete the project.

Nally Evans

As I read this article my mind began to be encircled with ideas. I believe the biggest challenge I will face is myself.Fear is so strong and this is what causes me often times, to remain in the box. I think the letter writing is so strong because it is constantly there to remind someone in written words of their importance and worth.

Diane Vander Hulst

Wow! People had some really cool ideas for the love project. I have no idea what I want to do yet, but I feel like by reading these stories, I will begin to brainstorm ideas for my own project. I really liked Kaylee’s project. The girl she helped out probably needed the help and love. It is hard to give when you have so little, speaking as a poor college student. The letters to the inmates was also an awesome idea, I feel like I would have no idea what to write to them!

Christabel Leonce

When I first read the content of the Extra Mile Love project, I must admit I was a bit overwhelmed, but after reading the examples you have listed above I feel a little more at ease. I still don’t really have an idea of how I will go the extra mile in and of my self to show love, but I hope I can come up with something throughout this course that I can carry on after this class and have other people engaging in it also. This is definitely going to stretch me, I don’t look forward to it, but it will be good growth.

Noah Chance

The focus of on the work of my peers is proof enough that love itself shows itself in many ways in our culture. Whether through a kind word or deed the effect is noteworthy in any light. The amazing thing about love in these ways it becomes hard to judge or ridicule when done with a sincere and servant’s heart. I look forward to finding ways to exceed or at least match my peers through this project in hope to find a launching point for future expression of this love.

Kellie Miller

I loved reading about the projects that last students have done. In Dr. Gorman’s theology class we were required to do an extra mile love project. A few of us got together and worked with kids at the shelter on 14th ave. It is a very rewarding experience and I am extremely excited to serve our community and our world again. I hope to have an impact on those I choose to go the extra mile for, hoping that it will continue on after the “project” has ended.

Kendria Werner

When I was first thinking about the Extra Mile Love project I was thinking that it was going to be difficult to complete. After reading about these different projects from last years students I realized that I can do this. These individuals discussed in the blog did simple things like writing letters, or giving blankets to the homeless. At the moments i am still unsure of what to do, but i have some more ideas of what i can do for this project.

mike jaquess

the extra mile love project is a great way to do something great for the hurting and lost people around us. it aslso shows us a side of ourselves that is lost or hidden inside. when i think of serving others and leading others to God, i think of a huge battle, a war. just like in battle you try to tak e out as many of the enemy as you can before you die, i look to reach as   many as i can before i leave this world.

John Treyz

This extra mile love project is a great idea to get us to go out and do something kind that has the possibility to have a positive impact on someone else’s life. Although many of us may think too big in an attempt to do something loving, this extra mile love project is a good starting point to do something small that can be used as a springboard for greater things in the future. All the examples listed above are simple yet allow the opportunity to expand into an ongoing project throughout life.

Krista Kirk

It is really amazing to see the different ways that people can and do show love to others as well as see how there are different people that receive these acts of love. It is interesting to read about people who reject these acts of love as well and, especially as a Psychology major, it makes me think about not only what love is, but also how love is received and perceived by others. What is it that necessarily allows a person to decide whether or not they are going to receive or reject acts of love?

Allie Kroeger

Pretty amazing to read about all of the different ideas that people have come up with. I really like that as a part of our class we are going to get to spread some extra love and get some points for it! I think it is so important as the body of Christ that we do this as much as we can and not just when we are assigned to do it for school, so hopefully this will create a new habit in us as your students. I especially liked the idea of giving blankets to the homeless people on the streets. It probably would have intimidated me to get rejected by the first person that I tried to give one too, but it was awesome that he pressed on and ended up having an awesome conversation with another man. All such great examples that inspired me to think of something as equally loving!

Andy Yue

Apparently there are many different ways to go an extra mile in love, and people can really get creative with it. Many time we think that doing small things like those might not really be significant for the most part, and I have to agree that this is probably true in most cases. However, I also don’t think it is good to give things up because they are small and protencially insignificant. I think the whole idea of love is not just to get the result that we expect, but to go though the process enjoy it.

Taylor Gould

This project is something that not many people get to do in their lifetime. Yes, we may always have to choice to go the extra mile of love, but we tend to find excuses in our busy everyday lives. This class is giving us the opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone, and spread light to someone else’s life for nothing in return. I personally can’t wait to decide what my topic is going to be and begin planning how I can help change someone else’s life for the better.

James Shepherd

These are great examples of how one person can make a small difference! The best part of these stories is that these individuals took small steps to make a big difference in the lives of people around them. This shows that to go the ‘extra mile’ you truly do not have to look far. This reminds me of all the times Christ went the ‘extra mile’ for the people around him. If we truly desire to live a life that reflects Christ then we as Christians should also go the ‘extra mile’.

Kendra Wilson

This blog post has really encouraged me to think deeply on what I want to do for my project. I had an idea but it is in my comfort zone and I was motivated by the girl who wrote to the prisoner and the man who talked to homeless to go beyond my comfort zone and do something that challenges me. I feel that sometimes the most challenging places are what really need the extra love. It is very challenging to continuously write to prisoners and give your self to the homeless but they need the love the most. I was greatly moved by this post!

Michael Delie

Being introduced to this project and reflecting on what its purpose is was the most interesting part for me. I completely agree with the cause and giving to those that are in need. I think it is a tough battle because there are so many around the world that need help and I guess it is one of those things that you just do what you can if you are in a position to help. I think the project is completely selfless and has an impact all around the world, the purpose obviously is spreading global love.

Lexi Sterling

I am really excited about this idea! I think it is far to easy for me to become too comfortable in my day-to-day routine of classes, homework, work, ect. that I often don’t even stop to think about situations like the one’s we watched tonight in Born Into Brothels… and that kind of bothers me. I WANT to think about those hard, difficult topics because I feel driven to DO something when I’m aware. It also helps me to realize how fortunate I am, and to be more content with what or who I have in my life. I have countless ideas of things I would love to do for this assignment, so I am excited to see what the results will be and how I may change as a result.

Kristen Loper

Dr. Oord, thank you for challenging us with the extra mile love project. I am interested in the future outcome of the idea that came to me during our first class. Showing “love” in a project form makes the actions of love intentional. Intentional but simple, simple as handing out a blanket to a homeless man or writing a letter of encouragement to a young teen girl. Simple, but not easy.It takes effort to express love and receive whatever comes out of it.The impact that one could have by premeditating love could leak onto others and create a ripple in whatever pond you chose to test it in. I am looking forward to this challenge .

Caleb Gerdes

The “random act of kindness”, the “going the extra mile.” All great things to do that I love to be a part of and affect others with. Can’t say I’m a powerful force of instigation though… I mean comfort zone says stay within limits that are safe and sensical. So when a homeless man wandered into the library and asked me to watch his stuff no biggy. Run into the guy later still on campus and he says he came from Boise to to talk to a student about his losing faith in God and the student didn’t meet with him and now he needs to get back and could use a ride. I say no; I didn’t know the guy and it didn’t sound safe, I didn’t want to spend my money on the gas and I was headed back to my apartment to unwind. So was it both selfish and made sense? Yes.

Tawni Palin

Dr. Oord,
I love the idea of this assignment, stretching us to be active agents of love and God. But my initial thought is that I’m not sure what I have to offer. I am going to put a lot of thought into it, and I hope to impress not only myself but God too.

Kamerron Monroe

These expressions of love are really inspiring. When I first was told of this project I was worried about what I could do to show love in this kind of way. Now, reading these stories, I have several ideas of what I can do to show love to others. Kaylee’s effort to show love was the story that related mot personally to me. As a new Mom there is nothing better than receiving things for my son; every little things helps during the craziness of the first year.

Cassidy Ball

These students came up with some incredible things that went the extra mile to show love. It’s interesting how some people chose to use people they know and others served complete strangers. It goes to show that there are always people around us who need love. I thought Rachel Beers’s idea on writing letters and giving small gifts to a student here on campus without personally knowing her was great. Personally, I like the idea of serving people anonymously. I think that people serve more and don’t become as prideful when the person on the receiving side doesn’t know who it is. As the “Love” class continues on I am looking forward to participating in this project and learning how to go the extra mile in loving on others.

Noelle Parton

I think that this project is such a great idea, and I love reading the variety of projects that the students chose to do. I specifically am touched by the one regarding the homeless people of Seattle. I don’t know how many times I have driven by one of the main parks in Seattle with dozens of homeless people and not done anything. This makes me question what I could do to help them when I do find myself in that situation again.

Sara Wittkopf

This was a really good blog entry to read to help give us some ideas about what we need to do for our service projects. I was worried about the financial aspect of a project like this one but seeing some other ideas that students have had gave me some really good ideas about what to do for my project that would be reasonable for me to accomplish and still be beneficial for the community. I really liked Megan’s project. She was able to do something so special for our service members. Coming from a family with a very lengthy military background it is always touching for me to read things like that. The other projects were really awesome as well! I am very excited about this project now.

Connor Magnuson

Admittedly, when I first heard about the extra mile assignment, I was nervous that I would not be able to think of something ‘good enough’ to properly fulfill the assignment. I didn’t think that anything I could do would have a loving impact on someone. After reading this blog post and hearing some of the ways that students loved others, however, I was put back in place and realized that it is not about me fulfilling an assignment, but showing genuine love to others. The acts of love that the students showed from this blog were selfless and greatly fulfilled a need of others. Reading this blog has helped me put in perspective the true meaning of the assignment–it is more than simply earning a grade for the class.

Brenden O’Neill

In my discussions with others on the Idea of “Extra Mile Love”, there is no question that acts of love such as these are a profound way to show the love of Christ to those whom we may come in contact with. The struggle for many, myself included at times, is the fear of the unknown that comes with a project such as this. It is this fear that may cause a sense of reservation or even apathy towards the project that should be done. I pray that the true power of the love of Christ will overcome this reservation.

Matt Silva

This seems like an interesting challenge and I am curious to see what I and my classmates will come up with this semester. When I first read the requirements for this assignment I had no real frame of reference to evaluate it with. To do something above and beyond what I would normally do seems daunting, especially when you don’t know what that thing will be. After seeing some examples I now have a better understanding of the scale of the project and what is expected. All of these things seem very doable. When you think about it, what to you could be a very simple act may be anything but simple to the person on the receiving end. Giving of yourself does not have to be grandiose and epic to be meaningful. Mostly it is just about being mindful of other people to a greater extent than we normally do. I still have no idea what I will do for my project, but this does give me some place to start.

Kara Den Hoed

I loved reading through these different examples. I especially liked Rachel Beers’ where she wrote comforting letters because I think that could be very powerful.
For class, reading through all of the different ways people have chosen to show “extra love” really helped me brainstorm for ideas on the project we have to do. When we first got told about it in class, I had no idea what I would do. But, hearing what other people have thought of was really helpful. It made me excited and showed just how many different kinds of things one could do with this project. It will definitely be the most enjoyable project that I get assigned this semester. I can’t wait to see all the ways our class comes up with to show some love.

Allison Christy

I really look forward to this project and enjoyed reading about real cases where students went out of their way to love others. What is most striking to me in most of these projects is the way students chose to go out of their way to love people they don’t even know. Simply being sensitive to the needs of others, whether it were needs of encouragement or basic necessities, allowed these individuals to love people in a way that was both tangible and meaningful–and these were to people they didn’t even know. Just imagine how much opportunity exists for us to love our close friends and family whose needs we are aware of on a deeper level. Whether it requires actually going the extra mile or simply taking a second to consider another’s needs, using our individual resources and talents to make a difference in someone’s life is one of the most simple yet important expressions of love.

Rachel Finley

I absolutely loved reading this blog! It’s awesome to see people being Christ to the world. I especially liked how most of these kids helped or touched only a few people versus a large number of people. I feel like many of us get caught up in numbers. If we can’t help several people at a time then we won’t even really consider helping at all. I’ve found myself struggling with this thought when deciding what to do for my 2015 Extra Mile Love project. Reading this blog was really good for me, because I have realized that even if I only touch one life, this whole project will have been totally worth it.

Randy Kingsmore

These are great examples of simple acts of kindness, charity, and concern. All subsets of love, at least. I have a few ideas, a couple of which I am wondering if they ‘qualify’. Does volunteering at the Nampa Care House doing whatever needs done or volunteering to sort/pack medical supplies to be shipped to Africa qualify or does the project require more personal one/one-type interaction? I will have to continue pondering and see what original idea, or variation on a theme, really speaks to me.

Tyler Mahaffy

Reading all the extra mile love attempts have really warmed my heart. It just lifted my spirits really good reading about what these people have done for others. I was especially moved by Dan Benjamin’s attempts. He continued to help out the homeless, even though they refused his help, he still continued to show his love towards them. I’ve often times had the need to help anyone I would spot that would fit the homeless definition. When I see people standing out on the streets, holding signs saying that they need help or will work for food, I want to help, but I’m stopped because either a part of me is saying that they could be faking it, or somebody who’s with me say that if they need help, they should just go to the shelter or get a job. But I remember that once went to Vancouver on a Mission Trip to help out people like that, and I and few other’s gave these people good food and shelter for a time.

Toniessa Phelps

I really enjoyed reading your blog on this wonderful project. When I took Intro into Theology Dr. Gorman had us complete this project and it was a great learning experience. I look forward to completing it again. However, I think completing this project for me will be a little harder because I am in more of a time crunch with taking 19 credits and working 39+hours a week, but because of that this project will mean more to me because I took time to complete it. I believe that completing this project again will help me grow even more in my love and learn more about love by helping others. I’m really excited to express what I’ll be learning in class about love through this project by either giving my time to help others or completing special projects for people who really need to be shown love.

Jackson Bevens

I really enjoyed reading these acts of love. Not only are the majority of them simple, but they also do not require that much out of us in the grand scheme of things. I think it is good that when we see this we see how the smallest act of love can change and help uplift someone who is struggling. This is often something that we forget about. I really like the idea of this project and look forward to coming up with an idea to demonstrate love.

Linnea Phillips

I am really looking forward to this assignment. As a student-athlete, I focus most of my time and energy towards nursing and volleyball. Although I hate to admit this, I tend to forget about going the “extra-mile”. However, after reading this blog I realized that going the extra-mile doesn’t necessarily mean planning extravagant projects or organizing fundraising events. I was amazed how such a small act of kindness, exemplified by these students, could make such a significant impact. I hope this assignment will not only change my perspective on love, but I’ll continue to go the extra mile even after this assignment is over.

Matti Munger

I’m really excited about this project. There have been a lot of great ideas in the past so I want to make sure mine is original and different from theirs. They all did some amazing things with their communities and I can’t wait to figure out what I’m going to do for mine. I love what the student did for the military, I don’t think they always get as appreciated as they should and simple things like that probably make a huge difference to them.

melissa verhage

These were all great examples of love. I really liked the project about writing to the inmates and seeing that result of them writing back and being really encouraged by the letters that were sent to them. These all gave me ideas of what I might want to do to show love. This Project is definitely something that is going to stretch me and really look at love in a more a giving way than getting which I am excited about.

Kayla Sevier

I found myself very captivated when reading about these extra miles of love and also encouraged. Clearly this is going to be much more than just a class assignment, it is an act of the love of God in our own personal way therefore, I am really looking forward to being stretched. I believe that I will get uncomfortable expressing love beyond what I am used to and I see that as a positive step in bettering my relationship with the Lord and others around me. Last, I think it is important to remember when going about this act of love we do it intentionally in a selfless way for others.

Cali Carpenter

As I first heard about this project, a feeling of nervousness set in for me. Far too often I find myself not going the extra mile for things that I should be, so the idea of this assignment scared me initially. After reading this blog post though, I became anxious for this project. Although I still am unsure of what I want my project to be, it was assuring to hear about things that other people did. Not only am I excited to figure out what project I want to take on, but I cannot wait for the outcome. I know there are so many people in the world who are hurting and by simple acts of kindness and love, I am going to be helping out in extraordinary ways.

Cass Hinton

I found a lot of these projects and ideas really interesting and inspiring. We also had to do a project like this in my intro to theology course here at Northwest Nazarene University and I really enjoyed it. I think that having this really encourages me and other students to be stretched in a lot of different ways and to step outside of our comfort zone. I got involved with a youth group as a leader for my intro to theology course last year and I loved it. I was stretched and molded and learned a lot about myself and also about God and His character. I was really inspired by the different articles in which the students were reaching out to the homeless populations all over the boise area as well as over in Washington and their hometowns. I have always been interested in working with the homeless. I will definitely be thinking about doing something like this for my own project.


It’s amazing how a simple act of love can change an individual’s life and mental state. To treat people with such love and care shows those around you the power of love. The simple action that these students took to show their love is so cool. Reaching out to those who don’t receive the love they deserve and support is one of my goals for the project. I hope to make it unique and possibly impact those who need it the most.

Rachel Ball

This project and these ideas are working their way into my liking. At first I was put-off at the fact that we were assigned to do something that we should all be doing already, extending the ‘extra’ amount of love as the world would see it. However, I have come to realize, why not? Why not be pushed to do something that you wouldn’t normally do? A comfort zone and complacency are two of the most dangerous things a christian cal fall prey to. This assignment will push not only me, but the rest of my class away from these dangers and allow for us to express extra love. I hope that from this assignment, my definition of ‘extra love’ will change. I hope that ‘extra’ become more common. I hope that the more love we show, the more we will all want to show, and continue showing.

Julie Armbruster

Wow! These former students really put themselves out there in the projects that they chose for this particular assignment. I especially like the letter writing to a fellow student, because often times people assume that because a person looks like they are doing fine it doesn’t mean that they really are. Someone put a bible verse in my mailbox with a little note of encouragement, that little act of love brightened my day. The other project that I especially liked was the bags full of toiletries and food for the homeless. Two main reasons are the low income bracket that most college students are in during the time in school and the fact that usually the homeless population live in risky or unsafe neighborhoods. That seems like an incredible stretch for a college student to take for a school project and yet very inspiring to others like myself.
Thank you for sharing with us.


When Tom first told us in class about this project my head immediately began to spin because I didn’t know what I would do or when I would do it. I was a little nervous because it had to be something completely new to us. However, upon further evaluation of the topic and the assignment I have found myself getting excited thinking about what I can do and how I can go the extra mile. I am excited to do this assignment and see how God uses me to go the extra mile.

Curtis Mostul

Through reading about all of these examples I am looking forward to what this project will bring. I have done a project like this one before, I was involved in a group that met each week at a home for the disabled. We would play bingo and eat with them. It was a great experience that stretched me in this area of love. I hope that after this project I will be even more stretched in my love and my understanding of love. I also will be looking forward to hearing from all of the other classmates. This will be a good opportunity to help the local community.

Shantay Perry

I think that all of these are ideas are good and heartwarming. It is nice to see how different students reach out to others and the ideas that they come up with. Everyone has a passion for something and has talents/skills that can be used in many ways. I like to think that most people desire to help others. I think that this project truly helps others understand the idea of helping others. I think that college is such a good time to expand out of your comfort zone and find how you can help others and do God’s will. This is an amazing way to show love and to use our resources to help others.

Spencer Hassman

I tend to think about “going the extra mile” to imply something extreme or way out of the ordinary. I was encouraged and inspired by some of the simpler acts of love that I’m sure had an impact on those involved, their simplicity notwithstanding. It is not especially difficult to pass out food, write letter, etc, but the effect on the individuals receiving the items or services can be profound. This fact pushes me to consider how powerful doing “small things with great love” actually is, especially in our daily lives, and the compounding effect that our simple acts of love can have over time as we truly live lives that make the expression of love to all kinds of people a priority.

Kevin Field

Without even beginning, this project has challenged me to realize the many ways that it is possible for us to show love. It is humbling to read about these projects and recognize the potential I have, each day, to influence the people I come in contact with. The variety of projects chosen by students in 2012, from writing letters to giving out blankets, and the different communities they were able to engage in, from the military to local inmates, inspires me to think creatively when choosing my project. I hope that the process of designing and enacting this project not only makes a difference in and of itself, but I hope it opens my mind and heart to the many ways I can engage my community on a daily basis and the significance small acts of kindness have.

Brianna Kinghorn

After reading all of these past projects I have realized how open the possibilities are for this Extra Mile Love. I am actually very excited after reading these other peoples stories to be able to find a way to reach out to others who need the extra love. I really liked the idea of sending letters to those in the military forces and will look more into that as a possibility for this project. It’s nice to see how much these little things have positively affected those who need a little extra love do to what ever situation they are in.

Jacob Neff

To be honest, when I first heard about this assignment my first inclination was to think of the bare minimum I’d have to do to complete the requirements. However, after reading about what some past students have done that’s changed. While I’m still somewhat uncomfortable with the assignment (it’s designed to push us out of our comfort zones), I’m also more excited for it. Seeing what other people have accomplished in just a couple of months in the semester has helped me realize that it’s not as difficult to reach out to others and love them as it sometimes seems. I don’t yet know what I’ll do for the project, but I’m much more excited about putting time into it than I was at first.

Jared Morgan

I am encouraged to hear how students used known needs to challenge themselves to act for the good. It is easy to recognize when people are in pain, but it is another to premeditate and act in a way to challenge your own reservations. Especially when that act is out of love. It is also interesting to hear how so many people had a noted change after one experience of promoting love. It is truly continuous acts like these that will make our world a better place to live in.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.