Serving With Joy
Community service takes place regularly at Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA), including individual class projects and twice-yearly school-wide activities. All students were given an opportunity in April to participate in a special mission outreach project sponsored by the Oregon Conference.
During this all-school community service, students went to a variety of places to help others. One group, for example, went to the Portland Community Energy Project to put window coverings over an elderly woman’s windows. “We helped a really nice lady with her windows, and she showed me how fun it can be to help others,” Kristina Ashlock, a freshman at CAA said.
Another group traveled to Our House of Portland, a residential care facility for patients with advanced AIDS and HIV. Briana St. Clair, a senior, exclaimed, “We enjoyed singing with the staff and residents. It was rewarding to see the joy and laughter on their faces.”
One major activity involving almost 80 percent of the student body is the annual voluntary community service for which students can apply for $20 each to do a mission activity of their own creation. Students usually band together in small groups to combine their funds. Some of this year’s activities included giving flowers and notes of encouragement to people on the streets of Portland, making care packages for soldiers in Iraq, and giving food and water to the homeless. April Rogers, a junior, described her experience as “neat to see the different reactions of people when we gave them the flower. People are always expecting to have to give in order to receive. Here we were just giving. Many were caught off guard. I was really blessed by this mission project.”