|Abby and Layne help to sort potatoes at Feeding America.|
8th Grade Service Corps 2016-2017
"For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. " James 2:26
Inspired by the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, All Saints Academy's Service Corps was created to give our 8th graders an opportunity to research and contact an organization of meaning to each of them, perform a day of service, and then evangelize and bring recognition to the various organizations by presenting their experiences to our 4th through 7th graders.
One of the core values at All Saints Academy is serving, and in grades K through 8, there are many opportunities to participate in school sponsored service. 8th grade Service Corps is a time where 8th graders take the personal responsibility of serving into their own hands. Below are several examples of how our eighth graders chose to make a difference.
Amelia helped to train dogs at McKenzie’s Animal Sanctuary. She was amazed at the organization of dogs there, each one having a “level” according to how they needed to be handled and who could work with them.
“They really cared about the dogs and wanted everyone there to be safe while working with them,” explained Amelia.
Abraham peeled eggs for lunch at God’s Kitchen.
“I peeled a ton of them. It fed a lot of people that day, and it was eye-opening to see how many people were in need. And they were so friendly and loved seeing kids our age there to help."
At New Development, one of the things Rachel did was helped to spackle new door frames to get a house ready for it’s new family. Rachel recalled,
“They were really good about explaining what to do. Your age really didn’t matter."
At Ronald McDonald House, Bridget and Izzy decorated cookies for the families staying there.
“The families came in and got the cookies right then while we were decorating. They really appreciated them!”
“Feeding America makes volunteering extra fun. Potatoes are sorted through a game of potato ball. Potatoes not perfect for humans get tossed into a crate to feed wolves. Nothing goes to waste...all of God’s creation benefits!” explained Jake Z after his day of service.
Ceci helps to stock shelves at HELP Pregnancy Crisis Center.
SugarBush Festival is one way Blandford Nature Center brings awareness to the environment. Abby, Leah, and Julia volunteered for the day and gave children horse rides and worked at a concessions stand.
Rhiannon spent time socializing with dogs at McKenzie’s Animal Sanctuary.
Besides spending time with the dogs At McKenzie's Animal Sanctuary, Lizzie also washed toys.
Andrew helped pack children’s lunches and dinners at Kids Food Basket.
“The amount of food they go through in just one day is amazing. I did not realize that many children right here in Grand Rapids need meals every day. It’s so sad, but the good news is we can easily make a difference.”
Lisa Frey, parent of Edward (2016) and Lily (2017) commented on her appreciation of this service day.
“I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany Lily to God's Kitchen. I also drove Abraham to and from there. Not only did I observe the 4 8th graders working, but I also experienced God’s kitchen by serving dessert in the food line. It was an eye opening and powerful experience. I am thankful that I could participate and experience Lily’s service project. I was privileged to accompany Edward last year to Feeding America. Volunteering in local programs is so important, especially for teenagers. It opens their minds to the needs of others. There is no better way to live out ASA's core value of Service, than by giving back to the community. Edward and Lily will never forgot their 8th grade Service projects.”
One of our teachers, Mrs. Zimelis, helps oversee the program and sums up the experience from an educator’s point-of-view.
“My favorite day of this whole learning service program is the debriefing session we have when the students return to school the day after serving. Their “ah ha” moments are inspiring. Hearing how empowered they feel after completing their individually chosen service within the community is awesome. They come back truly knowing they can make a difference.“