Educators 'Make a Difference' in the Community

Nearly 150 educators representing 23 schools in the Seventh-day Adventist school system in Western Washington met recently for teachers' meetings.

Beyond meetings focused on "making a difference through service," the educators served the community on Tuesday afternoon through 16 service projects in the Washington cities of Auburn, Federal Way, Tacoma, Milton and Puyallup.

The Aug. 12 project list included gardening, weeding, general yard work and brush clearing; organizing food pantries and preparing food for shelters; and helping local nonprofit agencies prepare resources for the school year.

"The people we worked with were amazed that we as teachers would come out and help them," says Greg Reseck, a teacher who volunteered in helping remove English ivy from trees at Dumas Bay in Federal Way.

Adds David May, teacher: "We made a difference to an office of employees who were impressed that we would work with them today. Yet the networking in the community benefited me as well. My eyes were opened [to community needs]."

While these educators often organize community service projects for their students, this is the first time educators have focused specifically on serving the community.

"The face of our church that we want our community to see is what we did today to say, 'We care,'" says Byron Dulan, one of the service organizers. "We sent out Adventist ambassadors today."

October 01, 2008 / Washington Conference

Heidi Martella, Washington Conference associate communication director