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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Serve Day encourages local partnership

Students continue tradition of giving back to the community
Julia Castiglione
Students help transport food boxes on Serve Day, March 8.

Serve Day, now in its 16th consecutive year, is a long-time tradition at Fresno Christian High School. Leadership advisors Robert Foshee and Hope Villines coordinate with various community organizations across Fresno and Clovis to provide student service in exchange for the experience. 

Serve Day took place across 11 different locations and offered a variety of activities to suit everyone’s interests. To ensure each project benefits and runs smoothly, leadership students help at every location, overseeing and managing the activities. Although students serve for just a few hours, the impact of their efforts resonates deeply. They witness firsthand how their assistance is a blessing to the community, seeing the tangible difference that they can make.

Giada Gilmore Young

Senior Maiya Esqueda had the opportunity to serve her school all four years and genuinely enjoys the experience. 

“I loved coming out here serving the community with my peers for the last time,” Esqueda said. “It’s a high school tradition and experience that I’ll miss being a part of.” 

Student especially enjoy serving alongside their friends, turning even the most mountainous, mundane tasks into fun, memorable experiences.

Sophomore Delaney Myers packages non perishable foods for the California Food Bank to be distributed to those in need. (Benson Elbert)

“The Mission of Fresno Christian Schools is to equip young people for life and service for Jesus Christ through biblical foundations, character development, and academic preparation in partnership with the home and local church,” states the Fresno Christian High School Missions Statement.

This mentality is upheld through several aspects of FC education, especially through Serve Day. On this special Friday that rolls around once a year, students and staff alike get up early, hop on a bus, and head out to serve around town. The day is all about rolling up your sleeves and showing what it means to have a servant’s heart.

The week before Serve Day, each student had the chance to sign up for any activity that caught their eye. While the idea of “simple tasks,” like picking up trash in a park or packaging food at the food bank, might initially not be too intriguing, students often end up enjoying themselves at these projects.

The California Food Bank, situated outside of town, eagerly welcomes Fresno Christian High School students back each year due to students always going above and beyond in their service. Last year, the students impressively completed all their assigned tasks for the entire day in under an hour. In similar fashion this year, the workers were shocked by the speed at which the students compiled the bags of food. One volunteer worker exclaimed that the students had accomplished more in a couple of hours than the team had done in a while.

A group of seniors chose to dedicate their day to painting over graffiti for the Fresno Beautification project. (Benson Elbert)

The most coveted Serve Day location is the Graffiti Clean Up. Students enjoy painting over graffiti, sometimes even climbing on top of one another’s shoulders to reach the tricky spots. This project was initiated by the mayor of Fresno, Jerry P. Dyer, to revitalize the town and enhance its true beauty. The goal of the plan being: to clean the neighborhoods, streets, and highways through the partnering of local organizations.

Senior Gabriella Sullivan had the opportunity to paint over graffiti along with other seniors who jumped to take this position. 

“My experience was a very bittersweet moment with it being my last Serve Day but I love serving my community,” Sullivan said.

While many students choose to venture off-campus to offer their assistance, some remain to help on-site. Reading Heart is a program dedicated to collecting and distributing book donations to student libraries everywhere. This was spearheaded by Danay Ferguson, who, at the age of eight, recognized the importance of equal access to good books for all. Students remain on campus to package these books, spreading the happiness of reading to others their age. Junior Laina Penland dedicated her day to making bookmarks that will be distributed along with the books.

“I chose Reading Heart because I think every kid should have the opportunity to explore the world through a good book!” Penland said. “It is important to give back to one’s community in any way possible just as Jesus Christ called his disciples to serve!” 

Freshmen Maiya Cortez and Emma Wisley help restore the Evangel Home by touching up chipped paint, putting new door knobs on, and redoing the floor. (Mallory Friesen)

The high school students demonstrate Christ’s love by volunteering with the younger ones as Jesus taught in the Bible.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ ” (Matthew 19:14).

This is not only a beautiful and nostalgic experience for the older students but also an eye-opening experience for the younger ones, as they come to realize that the older kids on campus genuinely care about them.

The Evangel Home opened in 1955 when founder Pauline Baker Myers recognized that women were being turned away from the Fresno Rescue Mission due to limited space. Dedicated to aiding women and children in escaping the streets and abuse, this location serves as a sanctuary for those in need. 

The goal of any park clean-up is straightforward: to transform the park into a clean, welcoming space where everyone can enjoy a stroll. By clearing away trash and filth that accumulated over time the aim to leave Martin Park and street clean-ups beautiful and usable for all is always met with all the helping hands.

Junior Lyla Hinton picking up trash for the community, March 8. (Benson Elbert)

Many students on campus are members of a church and many different churches at that: Bethany, Well, and Peoples. As part of the revitalization efforts, the churches were among one of the many projects decided on. Students helped out with many little odd jobs from pulling weeds, sanitizing chairs, and organizing items in storage.

Peoples Church is one of the many churches students attend. Peoples Church has graciously allowed Fresno Christian to make it its home for decades, facilitating this ministry of school with their full support. Through this clean up it allows the students to give back to their school and their church.

Junior Jeremy Reimer has enjoyed dedicating one day of school to serving the community. He is most thrilled with how there is a wide variety of options when it comes to the Serve Day places. 

“Going to a new location every year has its exciting atmosphere. you never know what’s going to happen that’s why I look forward to Serve Day every year,” Reimer said.

Serve Day serves as a reminder to think outside of our wants and needs. As the students donated their time to the community they opened their eyes to the struggles of others in their community, reflecting back to realize how blessed they are. Even though it is only one day, it still helps- every little bit helps. Overall the school has been a blessing to the community for over a decade and the students all enjoy their opportunity to give back. 

How was Serve Day for you? Leave a comment below.

To read more from The Feather go to Editorial: Black History still matters or Profesora reveals a more personal side

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About the Contributors
Chloe McDonald
Chloe McDonald, Editor
First-year journalist Chloe McDonald, ‘24, is excited to begin her writing journey with The Feather Online. Chloe values teamwork and helping the campus stay informed. Chloe enjoys art of all mediums and serving her school through leadership class, with all glory to God. In her free time, she can often be found painting, lifeguarding, or walking her dog.
Mallory Friesen
Mallory Friesen, Photo Editor
Mallory Friesen returns to The Feather for her second year as a photojournalist hoping to improve her skills. As a ‘lifer’ at Fresno Christian, you can find her on the soccer field or cheer mat. Friesen hopes to attend college and continue her creativity by traveling the world and using her photography skills. 
Benson Elbert
Benson Elbert, Photojournalist
Benson Elbert, ‘26 is an aspiring first year photojournalist for The Feather. Elbert aspires to improve his writing and photography skills with help from the team. He has worked in his family's breakfast restaurant, Batter Up Pancakes,  since he was a kid. Elbert has also led the campus through the leadership class since his freshman year, hoping to continue to lead till senior year. After high school he aspires to be a computer programmer and design videogames.
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