Pinto beans, freeze-dried vegetables, vitamins and rice were scooped into bags, weighed, sealed and then placed into boxes to be sent off to communities in need during Friday’s Feed the Need event at Geneva Academy.Students helped each step of the way. Some even folded the boxes and wrote the shipping labels, and included inspirational notes into each box as part of the fundraiser/service project for the school.
Geneva Academy’s school board chose to organize a serve-a-thon style fundraising event and will provide 10,000 meals for people in need. Instead of selling items, students reached out to community members for sponsorship in the service project. Kyrra and Alex Tucker asked their pastor if they could talk to him about the Feed the Need project, that served as both a fundraiser and service project for the students. “It’s a great thing to serve in this way,” said their mom, Jonica Tucker. “They went to an elder in the church and asked if they would donate.” Kyrra, a fifth grader, and Alex, a second grader, then spoke to their Sunday school class about the project and put up jars for a coin drive.“ The parents let Kyrra and Alex do all the talking and explaining,” said project coordinator Kellie Trenkle. Alex said he asked people to support him in donating the meals. The family raised a little more than $1,300 and the school has raised almost $55,000 toward its $75,000 goal, with another week of fundraising remaining.
“This endeavor was chosen for the heart impact it could have on the students,” Trenkle said. “This project allowed the parents to empower their kids to not just talk about a wreath or a raffle ticket, they’re selling, but to make an actual difference somewhere else in the world.” Trenkle said that 75% of families with children at the classical Christian school are working families and 25% receive tuition assistance.
“This project will have a triple impact,” Headmaster Brian Turner said. “It helps children in great difficulty, it helps Geneva students to grow in love and understanding and it helps our Academy continue to provide a classical Christian education.”
Turner said the idea for the project came from other Christian schools who had used the model and the school contacted the company to put on a project at the school. “The service project is the most important part of what’s happening here,” he said. “The children were looking forward to it.” The money will be used to expand the math and science programs and provide funds to hire additional faculty for the school. Geneva Academy expanded to a second campus at the beginning of the school year, with kindergarten through third grade at 3075 NW Witherspoon Ave., and the third through 12th grade at 2125 NE Vine Street campus.
Children worked alongside parents and pastors to help pack meals. Each time a box was filled with food packages the students would cheer, “G-E-N, E-V-A, Feed the need, today.”
A total of 1,500 meals will be distributed among Douglas County’s Salvation Army, FISH Food Pantry, Casa de Belen, Safe Haven Maternity Home and Roseburg Dream Center.Directors from all five of the organizations in Douglas County were invited to help package the meals. Tim Edmonson of the Roseburg Dream Center said it was a lot of fun to see the kids helping. “At the Dream Center it’s mostly older people, but it’s good that they learn to that younger,” Edmonson said. “It really goes to their Christian values and what it means to be a good Christian.” He explained that the packages will likely be distributed in food boxes to families, because they do require cooking which homeless people often do not have access to. In addition to donations being made to local food banks, a large shipment will also go to Haiti. Students in the lower graders learned all about Haiti before the event. Alex said he remembered that “they don’t have very much food.”