We Are Family McMinnville School Comes to a Family's Aid

July 01, 2006 | Kristine Gabrys

Being an Adventist means belonging to a family. When one family member is happy, the rest are rejoicing. When one family member suffers, the rest do their best to comfort. At least that’s what happened when Mark and Vivian Kirk were in a car accident on Dec. 12, 2005—only a dozen days before Christmas. The McMinnville Adventist Christian School (MACS) made sure the Kirk family had comforting arms around them during their time of trouble.

The couple were driving home to their five children when their Chevy Astrovan hit an icy patch and caused them to collide with another vehicle. Vivian had some minor injuries, but Mark was taken by Life Flight helicopter to Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Hospital, where he would be hospitalized for the next 36 days.

But even though things looked bad, his wife Vivian quickly called their local church and school to ask them to pray. The church and school did more than pray though. Church members helped take care of the family, and the school had a fundraiser to help with finances.

Over the next few weeks, the tight-knit family of Adventists did everything possible to make life easier for Vivian, Mark and their children. Friends drove Vivian into Portland each day so she could spend time with Mark, and then home again so she could spend time with the kids. The children had rides to school, and after-school care from local neighbors. Women from the church provided meals. Some bought groceries for the Kirk family, and one understanding parent helped Alisha pick out a gift for the Christmas exchange they were doing in class before the holidays.

But the support did not stop when Mark was released from the hospital on Jan. 17. MACS decided to help the Kirk family with some of the financial needs the family was now facing. It seemed appropriate to chip in—after all, four of the five children were currently enrolled at the school. Since vegeburgers were such a hit on the hot-lunch menu, the school decided to host a vegeburger feed fundraiser.

Little did they know what a success their event would be! So many donors arrived that the school actually ran out of supplies and some of the hosts had to run to the store to pick up more food items. Altogether, the school raised $1,200 for the Kirk family. The money helped with medical bills, transportation and other expenses. When Principal Shawn Plafker presented Mark Kirk with the large check from the fundraiser, she exclaimed to her students, “We’re so excited Mark is here. He’s a walking miracle!”

All in all, there is something to be said about us Adventists. We stick together through thick and thin, especially the members of the McMinnville Adventist Christian School.