Schools Serve Through Local Love, Good Works

February 10, 2018 | Anika Zebron

Kirkland Seventh-day Adventist School (KSDA) and Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA) are only separated by a parking lot in Kirkland, Wash., and share school spaces like the gym and cafeteria, but there is something about coming together for a cause that creates a special sort of unity.

During the holiday season, KSDA and PSAA joined forces to raise donations for Renewal Food Bank, a project hosted by PSAA’s National Honor Society (NHS). Established in 1998, Renewal Food Bank, of Bellevue, Wash., is a nonprofit agency whose mission is “feeding the hungry in east King County in a caring environment with dignity and respect.” The organization serves 250 families weekly, impacting the lives of a diverse population.

On campus, NHS students promoted the project, encouraging students and families of PSAA and KSDA to donate nonperishable goods like canned foods, pasta and baby food. On the designated day of collection, Heather Andersen’s third- and fourth-grade class bought in the most with an impressive 125 pounds of goods. These days, they are enjoying their new playground equipment as a reward. Better still is the knowledge that their class and school have made a difference — more than 500 pounds of goods were donated, happily surprising the staff at Renewal Food Bank.

Gal. 5:13 encourages us to “serve one another humbly in love.” When we do this, we connect in new and meaningful ways, particularly on the local level. Senior and NHS member Jessie Lee states, “Local service is so special because though we don’t know each other, we have an automatic connection through being from the same community.”

Local service also evokes an awareness of the realities our communities face. For NHS sponsor and PSAA instructor Denise Childs, “thinking about those locally, right in [our] own community, who are struggling” is eye opening. She adds, “The immediacy of realizing there is need in what may be assumed an ‘affluent area’ makes the experience that much more impactful.”

Next steps for NHS, PSAA and KSDA include more local projects like this collaboration with Renewal Food Bank. Childs and her team look forward to making donation drives like this more routine, outside of the traditional “giving season," because “hunger and food needs don’t go away after December.” As Heb. 10:24 counsels, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” PSAA and KSDA are excited to participate in this mission locally.