Calvary Christian School's student body, faculty, parents and partner organizations kicked off its year of community service earlier this month. The school has strategically partnered with 12 different service organizations in an effort to reach out to the world, bless others and fulfill the school’s mission of service and leadership, dubbing their 2012 campaign "INSPIRE."
On Oct. 16, several of service organizations participated in a heart-warming community service kick-off celebration. The organizations involved with Calvary this year include Samaritan’s Purse, Westside Children's Center, Children's Bureau, No Limits, Union Rescue Mission, WISH Charter School, Westside Food Bank, Harvest Home, U.S. Veterans Administration, Casa Hogar Orphanage, Soldiers’ Angels and World Impact.
"We have worked diligently with students, parents, faculty, staff and community partners to develop a community service program that provides the most well-rounded educational experience possible for all of our students," said Vince Downey, head of school.
During the kick-off event, Downey gave a warm introduction, welcomed the service organizations and talked about the importance of daily service and outreach as it pertains to the school’s mission. Tim Goddu, vice president of World Impact, gave an emotionally-charged speech and slideshow about giving from the heart and what kind of impact this kind of giving can have on others.
Two sixth grade students, Ella Riley and Avery Bland, learned about World Impact through a service project they were working on during their Academic Resource Center time and were so encouraged, they raised $100 through a lemonade and cookie stand to donate to World Impact’s ministry. The students presented a very grateful Tim Goddu with a homemade sign and their earnings.
Calvary students will be working with World Impact to help promote and support its Sonshine Thrift Store, which serves as a place where people in the community can come to buy quality clothing for very little money and receive spiritual encouragement.
Also at the kick off Christie Tallant, a former teacher, flew across the country to share both her and her husband’s gratitude for the work Calvary does with Soldiers' Angels. Christie's husband, Dean Tallant, serves as company commander of Charlie Company in the 3rd Battalion Iron Rakkasans of Fort Campbell, KY. Tallant and his company have been deployed to Afghanistan and look forward to the school's aid this year.
"The kick-off event was an inspiring experience," said Amy Pendergraft, parent and director of children an family minitries at Calvary Church. "As each speaker showcased their organization, the enthusiasm of the school community was palpable. However, the most precious and most inspirational parts were the passion and excitement in our student body to serve those less fortunate. You could hardly keep the students in their seats."
The school's color guard opened the event, followed with a performance of "America the Beautiful." Closing the celebration, the Calvary Choir Ensemble delivered a playful "Oh Happy Day." The students are now learning about their specific service projects in more detail.