GIVING THANKS TO GOD THROUGH SERVING OTHERS
WC’s 2019 Community Impact Day in Review
By Laura Fitzpatrick, Staff Writer
The mission of WC to “develop the mind of Christ” in its students would be incomplete without an emphasis on the importance of serving others–not just as a school requirement or even a spiritual duty–as an expression of worship and response to God’s goodness.
In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul writes to the church at Corinth about their generosity toward another church in need. He explains that their generosity results in others giving thanks to God, “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Cor. 9:12). So we are moved to serve others out of response to God’s goodness, and our service also produces thanksgiving. In other words, giving thanks to God is the inspiration behind and the resulting fruit of service.
Throughout each school year, WC students have various opportunities to serve others and practice generosity. WC even sets aside an entire school day (Community Impact Day or CID) each year to send students out into the community to serve. Many of WC’s community partners praise the school and its students, staff, and parents, for their service and the excellence with which they do it. The following are brief overviews of this year’s Community Impact Days along with a small sampling of feedback from organizations involved.
Elementary School Community Impact Day
WC’s youngest students ministered to the community in various ways on their CID, including spending time with residents at a local nursing home, preparing a meal for three local firehouses, and collecting treat bag supplies for an event at Nationwide Children’s Hospital sponsored by the Sam Bish Foundation. While raking leaves for neighbors of the current elementary school building, one class of students met an elderly neighbor. In their conversations with him, they learned that his 101st birthday was the following week. So, they made him a birthday sign, bought him a cake and walked down to his house to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.
“Our foundation is very grateful for the generosity of the second-grade classes at your school and we are thankful for your partnership with us for this fall party at the hospital. Please know that the families were very touched by everything brought in and very grateful. I heard there were smiles and laughs, which makes my heart happy…I just want the teachers and students to know how very appreciative we are for the outreach of your school. Thank you again for partnering with us. The generosity and kindness of the students, teachers, and families at your school truly made a difference for some kids fighting pediatric cancer this fall season.” Cindy Bish, Director of the Sam Bish Foundation
Middle School Community Impact Day
This year, students in grades six through eight served at twenty local agencies, including faith-based food pantries, homes for the elderly and the Salvation Army. Some middle school students even had time to make blankets for children entering the foster care system and write note cards to active military and public service personnel.
“I just have to say that your students were very well-behaved and did a fantastic job while here. They were very pleasant, helpful and exemplified godly behavior. They interacted with our residents in a very positive way. They not only showed very good social skills but also patience with the residents.” Darlene Stover, Activities Leader at Willow Brook at Delaware Run
High School Community Impact Day
WC’s oldest students served at twenty-seven different community agencies. High school band and choir members were able to use their musical talents to bless local elementary schools and the Heinzerling Community. Some students served at the Military Veterans Resource Center, one of WC’s five new CID partners this year, filling 107 boxes with food for veterans who live in Ohio. Other students ministered across the city in food pantries, free stores, and missions.
“On behalf of MVRC, I want to thank all of the students for your contribution and time to provide your volunteer services to Military Veterans Resource Center. All of your hard work and dedication has greatly benefitted me and all of the veterans/families that MVRC provides food boxes to on a monthly basis.” Arnold Heightland, Director of Military Veterans Resource Center
Another way that the WC community has recently been generous is a canned food drive at the elementary and middle school campuses. In just five days last week, the Kindergarten through fifth-grade classes collected 2,502 non-perishable food items, and the sixth through eighth-grade students collected nearly 1,200 food items to share with others through the deacon ministry of Grace Polaris Church.
With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, it’s natural to move into familiar patterns of going about our holiday traditions like feasting, family time and football. Psalm 107 can help us remember the deeper spiritual significance of this holiday. Verse 1 says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” We give thanks, first and foremost, because He is good. The psalmist then takes 42 more verses to list specific ways that God had shown His goodness and brought provision. We each have our own version of Psalm 107, with specific moments or seasons in our lives in which God showed up and blessed us.
While WC strives to provide opportunities for our students to serve, serving others through the local church is a great way to minister together as a family. There are also several family-friendly volunteer opportunities around Central Ohio. Check out WC’s blog for more details.
May you and your family have a wonderful holiday as you give thanks!