|400 Teens Share Acts of Service||Email | Print|
by Heidi Martella; Source: Washington Conference, firstname.lastname@example.org
Student volunteers clear underbrush at the brand new off-leash dog park in Kirkland. About 400 middle and high school students volunteered at 16 locations in the Kirkland area for School Community Impact Service Event (CISE) on October 17. / Photo by Heidi Martella
If you drove around Kirkland, Wash., on a sunny day in mid-October, you likely would have seen about 400 teenagers in green t-shirts participating in acts of service in the community.
These teenage volunteers, in grades 7-12 representing junior and senior academies in western Washington, participated in the second-annual School Community Impact Service Event (CISE).
“Our purpose was to create a greater impact in the Seattle Eastside communities,” says Byron Dulan, Washington Conference outreach ministries director and event coordinator. “We also wanted to foster greater productive fellowship and unity among all academy students.”
Day of Service
Student volunteers and chaperones arrived at Puget Sound Adventist Academy, the host site, for a devotional and orientation before departing to service sites.
For the devotional thought, Tyler Stewart, Eastside pastor and Washington Conference associate youth director, share memorable service moments in his life and offered a challenge to the teen volunteers: “You have the opportunity to be the picture of God to somebody else today.”
Students chose from a variety of service opportunities including replanting native plants, spreading cedar chips for a new dog park, cleaning offices, sorting library books, removing invasive weeds, helping with non-profit special events, painting a gymnasium, feeding the homeless, maintaining trails and parks, packaging food donations and more.
“A few groups finished early,” says Linda Taber, PSAA principal, “so they came back and helped with some projects on campus.”
As students came back from their service sites, they asked each other about their projects and excitedly gave positive reports about their accomplishments.
“The students (at my site) worked hard,” says David Glenn, Chehalis pastor and an adult chaperone. “They got a lot done. The park people were pleased at how polite and positive the teens were.”
Reflecting on Service
An afternoon rally gave teens an opportunity to report on their activities and watch a slideshow from the day.
“I thought feeding the homeless was a great experience,” says Justice Ryder, a junior student from Auburn Adventist Academy. “It made me appreciate what I have and I would go do it again.”
John Freedman, Washington Conference president, thanked students for their day of service. “Every seed of kindness sown is a seed planted for Jesus,” he says.
The schools represented in this day of volunteering were Auburn Adventist Academy (freshmen and juniors), Buena Vista Elementary School, Grays Harbor Adventist Christian School, Lewis County Adventist School, Orcas Christian School, Puget Sound Adventist Academy, Olympia Christian School and Skagit Adventist School.
A photo gallery archive is available at facebook.com/washingtonconference.