How it all began: The Service Event

Students+Noah+Mitchell%2C+Cooper+Davis%2C+and+Lisa+Negrete+help+at+last+year%27s+service+event+by+packaging+potatoes.+The+service+event+has+grown+with+the+expansion+of+students+since+it+started+in+2006.

Courtesy of Joanne Kraft

Students Noah Mitchell, Cooper Davis, and Lisa Negrete help at last year’s service event by packaging potatoes. The service event has grown with the expansion of students since it started in 2006.

Dubem Ezeanolue, Staff Writer

The service event has been a tradition at Faith Lutheran Middle School for nine years. While many students have heard about the service event, many of them don’t know how it all began.

The service event takes one advisory class and pairs them up with a charity. The advisory chooses a charity or shelter to spend the day helping at. While, there students may help pack supplies, canned goods, and clothes.

This event started because of middle school principal, Mrs. Sarah Harper in 2006 with the help of her staff. After seeing all the privileged students at Faith Lutheran, Harper got the idea of an event to help others.

Harper wanted to help make people in the community happy and to teach students about poverty.

“We felt like it was a very important learning experience, for people to see some of the realities of poverty,” said Harper “not just poverty…people who are poor, but people who are poor in spirit.”

The service event teaches students how God can shine through their daily actions.

“The purpose of the service event is to certainly, actively live our faith by serving God, by serving others,” said Harper. “We are very fortunate here at Faith Lutheran, and we felt like it was a very important learning experience.”

Teachers who were with Harper in the beginning enjoyed the idea of the event and its purpose.

“I think it has multiple purposes, one is to remind us how wonderful we have it and I think sometimes we think we’re too easy to complain,” said advanced english and religion teacher, Ms. Joanne Kraft.

“When we go to these other places and we see the way some people live we’re like woah, we got it really nice..”

With all the great opportunities this event provides some struggles arose from it.

“The biggest challenge was we did not have advisory” said Harper.

Along with the struggles of grouping students, sometimes glitches in the system occurred. Occasionally an advisory class would arrive at the charity and the advisory wouldn’t be expected to come.

While there were problems, many parents helped to make this event how it is today.

“A parent, when I used to have an advisory class, she bought a gift card for every kid at that school, we served, so she wrapped 325, $10 gift cards” said Kraft.

The service event has not always been on the Friday before Thanksgiving break.

One year the school encouraged advisories to go help different charities on different days. It turned out too chaotic, so it was soon moved back.

Other years it was held the week before Christmas break, this allowed the school to help more charities around the holidays. When finals arrived and were placed at the same time as the service event they moved the event back to the week before Thanksgiving.

Going further into later years, few changes were made to the event. The expansion of the school made it easier for the school to reach out in to the community. One of the major changes were that over time they created advisories to make grouping the large mass of students easier for the staff.

Click to see the layout version of the story: Service Event