Last Friday marked the tenth anniversary of the Roanoke Valley’s largest community service event held in one day. Faith Christian School’s Project Faith has donated over 18,000 hours of service over the past ten years, and completed many worthy tasks around the community which would have otherwise gone undone.
Project Faith organizers work for almost a year planning the kindergarten through 12th grade fundraiser and service project, which involves over 500 volunteers, most of whom are students. Their mission statement of “A Mind for Truth, A Heart for Christ, A Will to Serve,” is put to the test every year when students clear trails, paint walls, clean buildings, clear debris, build benches and fences, and a multitude of other tasks – all for worthy local organizations.
This year, students in kindergarten through second grade worked on Mill Mountain in conjunction with the Zoo, the Mill Mountain Garden Club and the Discovery Center to tend gardens, mulch trails and clear the area for spring business. Students in grades three through twelve worked to support the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Roanoke Mountain Campground, the Chestnut Ridge Horse Trail and the Roanoke River Trail.
Volunteers cleaned graffiti off of bridges, built fences and benches, cleaned and trimmed trails, cleared campsites, painted buildings, repaired signs and much more. A good bit of the work was grueling, but, states Project Faith Chair Stacey Lilley, “these students really know how to turn out a good day’s work. It gives them an appreciation for our community and really puts feet to serving others.”
Faith Christian School is the only school in the country adjacent to National Park property and school officials say they “have a tremendous sense of stewardship to our national parks,” which is why FCS chose to send students to the parkway for its tenth anniversary.
Another important component of Faith Christian School’s Project Faith is the fundraising portion. Faith Christian is a private, non-profit school receiving no federal or state funding, so raising money is something they must do to continue growing, paying teachers, and providing basic necessities otherwise not covered by tuition alone.
To raise money, students are challenged to write letters – 15 per lower school student and 20 per middle and upper school student – to secure sponsorships for the work they will perform. This year, the goal was to raise $150,000, and to send out 4,500 letters. To date, more than 4,700 letters have been mailed out, and over $168,000 has been raised. School officials say they are “humbled and awed at how God continues to bless Project Faith every year.”
If you know of a worthy organization in need of volunteers for next year’s Project Faith, please send your recommendation to Susan Childs at Faith Christian School at [email protected].
For more information on Project Faith, please visit their website at www.faithchristian-school.com.