By: Susan Gum // May 8th, 2020 // Stories
There are many reasons why schools require students to earn community service hours and there are many ways for these purposes to be accomplished; however, the primary focus at Delmarva Christian is for their students to actively and intentionally show love through service.
“Some see community service simply as being volunteer work intended to help people or improve a community,” said Director of Advancement Justin Savini. “And yes, it can even be said that when students participate in community service projects they are taught life lessons that build character; however, it’s much more than that at DCS. Our desire is for our students to develop an unselfish, innate mindset that fosters love for and service to others before themselves.”
In an effort to accomplish this, every year Delmarva Christian creates two school-wide service project opportunities, one in the fall and the other in the spring, for the students and staff. The school also develops a focus-centric school theme. From these, other projects grow organically throughout the student body.
“This year’s school theme is ‘Love In Action,’” said Dean of Students Mary Beth Rimmer. “What an encouragement it has been seeing this theme resonate with our students, and how, even now with all that is going on, they continue to have the heart and commitment to serve.”
Almost immediately after Governor Carney’s stay-at-home orders, students in Mrs. Caroline Schneck’s 8th-grade History class began writing over 80 letters of encouragement and gratitude to residents at Moorings Assisted Living in Lewes, and the Delaware Veteran’s Home in Milford.
“My students wrote specifically to the veterans expressing their gratitude for preserving the freedoms that they now see as unique to America,” said Mrs. Schneck. “They also provided basic information about themselves, shared their faith, offered words of encouragement, and even told the veterans that learning about the Revolution, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the electoral college, and Alexander Hamilton’s financial plans were among their favorite things this year.”
In addition to Mrs. Schneck’s class, other DCS students have been making masks for healthcare professionals and other essential workers; conducting Bible studies and reading books to their younger siblings; raking and cleaning yards; making phone calls to those who live alone; preparing meals; and cleaning beyond normal chores. On Friday, May 1, DCHS Science Teacher Mrs. Tiffany Haley celebrated Delmarva Christian’s annual spring Legacy Serve-A-Thon (a school-wide community service day), by challenging her students to think about the kind of legacy they’d want to leave behind. She also encouraged her students to take time on Friday to serve those who are currently at home with them.
(Above) With a heart to serve, DCHS junior Olivia Owens decided to honor her mother during our Governor’s stay-at-home orders by ordering dinner for her younger siblings. Following the meal, she also organized a light-hearted arm-wrestling marathon all in an effort to encourage everyone at home. Biology student Isabelle Donihue, decided to clean out the family’s pantry that needed hours of attention. By going through the pantry, Isabelle disposed of old food and organized what remained. “As I was cleaning I realized this is kind of what Jesus does in our own lives,” said Isabelle. “We are like old cluttered pantries, stuffed with junk we don’t need…and then Jesus comes in and cleans us out. He finds what we do need while taking out the junk.”