Livingstone Gives Back to the Community
Staff have tackled the adventure of doing one service day a month for both the elementary school and the high school at Livingstone Adventist Academy in Salem. This program has been running for a year and a half.
When it began, it was daunting and posed numerous challenges like finding community service opportunities, connecting with various service agencies, scheduling various age differences doing service at the locations and finding drivers for each classroom to go to a different organization. During the program's first year (2014–15 school year), things improved month after month.
By the end of the year, a senior was telling members of the McMinnville Church how frustrated he was at first that he had to do so much community service. He then shared how it had such a powerful impact on him by the end of the year. He was hooked.
The second year has been one that has taken Livingstone students a step further. They are now working on a three-part program that includes working with harvesting food for three months, processing food for three months and then distributing food for three months.
Students and staff have worked for more than 10 different organizations on a regular basis. They have sorted books to give to children of needy families, prepared Christmas packages for needy kids through the Salvation Army and made cards for multiple organizations. Every project has been rewarding.
The most exciting recent thing came during a visit to the Marion/Polk County Foodshare. That organization's contact told how important Livingstone had become to them. He said that, even though Livingstone didn't come as often as many other groups, they were their No. 2 processor of food for the whole organization.
He went on to say Livingstone kids work faster and harder than any other group that comes through there. He explained that Livingstone had a reputation and its students were well-respected at the foodshare.
It was amazing that these students could have such a powerful impact in such a short period of time. They are really acting like the hands and feet of Jesus.