CAA Freshmen Make a Difference

The Columbia Adventist Academy freshman class divided into two groups in February, for an all-day community service experience. Fourteen students bundled up in rain gear, ready to help their community and have a little fun. It had been raining all morning, and they were prepared for the worst. They went to a park bordering a residential area in the town of Orchards and began clearing Scotch broom. The park service wanted it removed because Scotch broom is not a native Northwest plant, and it also was providing a secluded place for illegal drug activity, which worried the nearby residents.

By the time the freshmen arrived it had stopped raining. A woman from the park service met them at the park to give them their jobs—pulling Scotch broom out by the roots. By the lunch break they had filled a dumpster. After lunch they moved to a different area near another empty dumpster where a lot a junk was lying around: pillows, blankets, clothing, and trash. By the end of the day, the second dumpster had been filled.

Though the freshmen worked hard, they did have fun. They did some exploring, and there was a competition among some of the boys to see who could pull out the most Scotch broom. Dirt was literally flying the whole time, from both the work and the occasional mud fight. They returned to school muddy and tired, knowing they had made a difference in their community.

Thirteen other freshmen went to a humane society in St. Helens, Ore. The staff at the shelter was appreciative that the students had come to lend a hand in caring for the cats and dogs. They cleaned cages, washed food dishes and cleaned litter boxes. Holding and grooming the cats and dogs was the favorite activity for all the students on this community service project. Several students took the dogs for a long walk—rather the dogs took the students for a walk because they were so anxious to get out, they pulled the students down the path.

Some students reported that the best part about their day was the good feeling they got from helping others. •

Anya Davis

Anya Davis

May 01, 2003 / Oregon Conference