Milo Students Help Neighbors

December 07, 2017 | Kathy Hernandez

Students at Milo Adventist Academy in Days Creek, Ore., recently took a school day to help elderly neighbors in their community. Milo has had a long tradition of helping with community needs over the years, but Neighbor Day became an official school program when Carl Wilkens was pastor of the Milo Academy Church.

Wilkens, who was also a member of the local volunteer fire department, worked with the department as well as with area pastors to identify needs in the community. He says, “There were stories up and down the valley of different projects that Milo students had done over the years for community members in need. We just decided to make it a regular thing four times a year.”

This year student chaplain Justin Corral was in charge of organizing the event. He called Days Creek residents to tell them about the program. “I explained that we want to go out to help our neighbors,” Corral says. “We didn’t have limits on what they could ask us for. We trimmed blackberry bushes, chopped wood, raked leaves, cleaned windows and picked fruit. I tried to put groups of students together that didn’t normally work together or hang out together at school so they could have a new experience.”

Chad Reisig, current Milo Academy Church pastor, whose campus ministries team organized the event, says, “The community folks really appreciate that teenagers are willing to help out. We do this several times per year, and we generally are able to serve between 10 and 15 households each time we go out.”  

Some students were a little nervous at first, but when they came back they had stories to tell and lots of smiles.

"The best part for me was helping a man cut wood,” reports Corral. “He said it would have taken his wife and him three days to do what we did in three hours.”

“I always enjoy Neighbor Day, not because we get to take a break from school but because it shows me that even though I’m a teenager I can still help others and make a difference through simple acts of kindness,”  says Alex Miller, a Milo junior.

For more information about Neighbor Day at Milo, please email Chad.