Thursday, June 27, 2019

A day at Camp Baker

Addie, far right, at SOAR 365's Camp Baker.

My name is Addie Burtch, and my favorite part of the mission trip so far has been spending the day at SOAR 365 Camp Baker. Camp Baker is a summer camp for kids and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We met so many amazing people and it was really cool to be able to spend lots of time with them. I liked doing arts and crafts with them, and it made me realize how much I love helping others. I hope I can go back someday, and I had a really good time there.

-Addie Burtch

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Mission trip reflection


John Rhodes, far right, helped his team with trail cleaning.
On Monday, I went to Woodville Elementary and helped the janitor and principal take out the desks and the chairs out of all the class rooms so the janitor could clean and sort them back into their rooms. It was a really fun experience and took a lot of teamwork and effort. It was nice because we were inside in air conditioning and got to help with the heavy lifting. It took a lot of time and effort but once we finished the janitor thanked us and it was time for lunch. After that me and my group, The Flying Squirrels went to Soles for Souls to work with shoes. There was lots of boxes filled with shoes. We opened the boxes and started looking for matches. Once we found the match you would have to tie them up in a plastic bag and sort them into a box. You would weigh them and right the weight and how many shoes were in the box. It took 3:30 but eventually we had found 465 pairs of shoes. The women said if the entrepreneur sold all the shoes we could give food, shelter, and education to a family for 7 months. That was my day on Monday.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Making a difference one shoe at a time.


Shoes. You wear them every day, but are they a necessity? They are actually way more important they you might think. Other than just stopping your feet from getting scratched and bruised, they provide support and comfort. You probably don’t think about it much by they actually are really important. When you look in your closet you might find 5 to 15 different styles and colors and you don’t think twice about it. On the other hand, there are so many countries in this world that are stricken with poverty. People in those countries can’t afford food, education, or health care. When you’re in a situation like that you don’t think twice about having shoes on your feet.

Ellie McNally, left, at Soles for Souls
This leads me into talking about one of the service sites I went to today. I went to a nonprofit organization called Soles for Souls. This is an organization where they collect donations from companies, and they send them to low income countries. You might think that a company like this would send the shoes straight to people to wear, but they actually do something very different. They send the shoes to the moms of families who, in turn, go to market places and sells the shoes to people who need them. Not only do people get shoes to walk in and have more comfort, but the mothers of families will get more money to support their family. Parents used to have to choose between food, education, and health care, but with them selling shoes there’s a way where they could provide their kids more of the options.

At Soles for Souls we did many things. We sorted the shoes together to find pairs of shoes, and to sort out the shoes that don’t work. Soles for Souls takes donations from name brand companies like Nike, Adidas, and DSW. They take donations of the shoes that the company doesn’t want, but their shoes are always new and always in the best shape. While we were there were found pairs, put them in bags, and sorted them. We worked tirelessly with the heart and hands of Jesus for 3 plus hours, and it payed off in many ways. We sorted 456 pairs of shoes to help Moms and families support each other. Theoretically if one mom sold all of the shoes we packaged she would be able to provide food, shelter, and education to her entire family for 7 months. All in all, I will always remember this experience, and even though it has only been one day, this has been the most eye opening thing I have experienced so far this week. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the mission trip has in store for me.

Peace, Ellie McNally

Sunday, June 23, 2019

End of Day 1: Success!

The Mid High Mission Team departed today for host church, St. James's Episcopal Church.

After we arrived to St. James’s this afternoon, we got to know each other a little better with icebreakers and games. Then we enjoyed Jazz Mass! After that, we had a yummy Mexican dinner (thanks Stephanie & Rick Golembeski!) followed by a prayer tour around RVA. We stopped at the Diocesan office, the Capitol, RPS Central Office/City Hall, Main St. Station, and finally the Reconciliation Statue. It’s gonna be a great week!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Welcome back to the resource site!

It's official--we're ONE MONTH away from our local mission week in RVA. I hope that you and your participating student(s) are getting psyched for a tremendous experience that will leave a huge impact on their lives! 

While you're here, be sure to check out the "Who We're Serving" and "How You Can Help" pages for more information. 

And don't forget our information meeting scheduled for Sunday, June 2nd at 12:15 in the Garage at Christ Church. See you then! 

Friday, June 29, 2018

"The best week of my life!"


This week was the best week of my life! My team is team Maymont. We went to ARC camp yesterday. It is called Camp Baker. It is for people with disabilities. They were fun and nice! I met a bunch of cool people there, too! I met someone called Chris. He is so cool and nice!

They have a talent show every Thursday for everyone. And Chris was going to sing Bruno Mars. We then met some other people like John, David and Timothy Strong. Timothy was so funny and AWESOME! He likes movies like zombies and he has a DVD player. He has a man cave, too! He also likes wrestling, too. They were all so funny and nice! I am so happy they had fun. They leave on Fridays and come back on Sundays. I had fun volunteering and I hope I can come back next year.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

"Just a few miles away there is someone who needs our help..."


Yesterday my group (Team Maymont) went to help "Building a Better RPS". Building a Better RPS is an organization where companies and other organizations help beautify the curb appeal of all 44 properties that house Richmond Public Schools. At first we went to Woodville Elementary to help there. Upon arriving we were told that the mulch had been delivered to the back of the school instead of where we needed it, in the front. Since this mission trip is about serving others we were flexible and went to MLK Jr. Middle School to help there with another group. For most of the morning at MLK Jr. Middle we weeded all the flower beds in the front of the school before the mulch was laid down.

After lunch we went to the Sophie House. This is where single women and moms can come to the community center and get the resources that they need to help their families. Half of our group worked outside putting new wood down for the flower beds. The rest of the group worked inside folding and delivering clothes to the clothes closet next door and covering old signs so that they could be used again.

Even though these services were very different we saw how important our work was to not only the people who would receive it but the people running the organizations. It inspired us to keep on serving even after the mission trip was over because just a few miles away there is someone who needs our help here in Richmond.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Quality Time with our Northside Neighbors


On Tuesday, my group went to the Northside YMCA to help with the kids. Lucia, Emma, and I introduced ourselves to the Kindergarteners and first graders and they were already so friendly. They had such big smiles on their faces when they learned that we were coming to the playground with them. As soon as we got to the playground they were all grasping on to us and asking for us to play with them. After the playground, we played games and did crafts with them. They were so fun to talk to and they weren't shy at all. It was such an amazing day and I'm so glad we got to spend it with such great kids.

Our youth mission team served children of the Northside YMCA summer camp.  With a focus on nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being and providing opportunities to give back and support neighbors, the Y enables youth, adults, families and communities to be healthy, confident, connected and secure.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"An impactful and amazing day!"


My team, Team James River, went to Fairfield Court Elementary School yesterday to work with RPS. In helping them prepare for the coming school year, we weeded the front entrance, mulched 6,400(!) pounds of mulch into the area surrounding the trees and bushes, and leaf blew the sidewalk. Everyone did amazing!

Zoe and Ellie worked with me as we spread the mulch and we had some pretty awesome conversations, Jack and Justin did a lot of the heavy lifting and wheel barreled the majority of the mulch, and William did a great job with the leaf blower. All of our teamwork led to us finishing a half an hour earlier than the time we were expected to finish. We ate lunch and then traveled to Commonwealth Senior Living where we helped flatten paper bags from grocery stores. All of those paper bags would be crocheted into a mattress or bag for the homeless, which is pretty cool! After that, some of the senior citizens decided to teach us dominoes and we had fun playing a few rounds. We then played a few rounds of Bingo where William and Zoe dominated.

We took showers and then went to Bryan Park, where we had a cookout prepared by a few members of the Youth Ministry Team. We had a great time and overall had an impactful and amazing day!

Spreading mulch at Fairfield Court Elementary School.

Quality time with residents of Commonwealth Senior Living Center.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Service Sites update, plus how to get involved as adults!

Check out our most recent update to the "Serving Sites" tab above. We've added some awesome organizations that we're excited to partner with this summer!

Also, just like last year, there are LOTS of ways for you to engage with our Mid-High Mission Trip event coming next month. Even if you do not have a student participating, there's a way for you to get involved. Check out the helpful graphic below and consider how you can support our team during their mission week! (We especially rely on food donations, so please contact Adam today if you can help.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2018 Theme for MHMT!

It's here...our theme for the 2018 Mid-High Mission Trip!

This theme captures so much of what we want for our Mid-High students to experience and learn while on mission!

First, after last year's inaugural RVA mission, we are hoping to move "onward" in our relationships with one another and with our partners throughout the metro; we'll also be continuing much of the work we started last summer!
Second, we want for our RVA mission week to be a launching pad for our students by equipping them with the ministry tools and experience to further utilize their God-given gifts and talents throughout the rest of the year in their schools and communities. In other words, we're challenging our students to begin moving "onward" with God's call to mission!

Our theme scripture for the week can be found in the letter to the church of Philippi.
"...This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward  to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus."

We launch in just over a month, so don't miss out on this awesome opportunity for Mid-High mission.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ellie at the mic!

Yesterday I went to Oak Grove Elementary School. We were the first group to go there. When we got there our group (A.K.A. Arthur Ashe) split up into two classrooms. My group went to a class for rising fourth grade glass. The other group went to a rising first grade class. When we first got to our class we sat in the back and watched them play a name game. Then the class asked us to sing the power scholars song. Then we played a game to show how we all have something in common. Then it was time for some learning. We got paired with two kids to help them do a writing prompt. Now it was time for lunch. I thought it was so cute when almost every girl in the class wanted to hold my hand. I had three girls on one arm and three on the other. After their lunch they went back to the classroom while we went to eat our lunch. When we were looking for a place to eat we found a beautiful butterfly garden to eat in. while we were eating the rising pre-k went out there and played with bubbles. It was so cute! So how the summer school schedule works is that the students learn in the morning and have fun in the afternoon. This afternoon they had rotations. Our group started at a soccer clinic with the richmond kickers (it was so fun). Then we moved to art where we made super heroes. How you make them is you color a popsicle and put a cape on it. Finally we had to say goodbye. It was so cute when a girl asked me to live with her so we could be best friends. I never had so many hugs at one time.         

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Evan Graham and Taylor Wigner, signing on!

My experiences were heartwarming and joyful. I was happy to serve the people of Richmond as we dug through weeds and fresh mulch. At moments we were dehydrated and the people would give us water meanwhile while peoples gardens were infected with weeds we cleared them out to plant new seeds into the rich, fertile soil. Later we got to help even more people as we painted over the worn walls of a school. Meanwhile we received praise and mercy from the principle. I will never forget the smiles on the peoples faces as we continue doing the work of God.
-Evan Graham

My experiences were very fun. I was very happy when I was working with the kids at Greenleigh. We met some new kids and they were very kind and funny. We got to do games to know more about the kids at Greenleigh. If you did not know, the kids were all girls! There group was called Girls Can. We did skits to act out words like honesty, loyalty, ex. We got snack time after that. Then we went outside for free play like soccer or swings. When we had to go, the kids were so sad that we had to leave. I will never forget the sight of all the kids' smiles when we left to keep working for God.
-Taylor Wigner

-Greenleigh Learning Cottage is a special classroom that doubles as a community center for academic assistance to elementary and middle school students living in the Greenleigh Mobile Home Park off Jefferson Davis Highway in Chester.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Share your experience on the mid-high mission trip

Share your experience on the mid-high mission trip! Post your photos and updates to Instagram and tag them with #serverva

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The countdown has begun!

The trip is only 18 days away!  Have you figured out how YOU are going to join us?  Here are some ideas!

1) FEED US. You know who eats a lot? Growing young people. You know who eats even more? Growing young people who get up early and stay up late to serve their community! Please consider donating some food to our mission team.

2) SERVE WITH US. We'd love to have you join us in service. All ages are welcome to help serve with the team at Shalom Farms on Wednesday, June 28.

3) WORSHIP WITH US. Come to St. James Episcopal Church on Tuesday, June 27 as Rev. Shirley leads us in worship. This a great way to show the team your love and support.

4) FOLLOW US. We will be providing real-time updates as they serve the city. We'll post everything here and you can also follow along at #cceserve.

5) PRAY FOR US. Please keep the students, chaperones and their families in your prayers, as well as the people we encounter in the mission field.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Go with us!

People of ALL ages are invited to participate.  The 2017 mid-high mission trip is not just for 6th-8th graders. We are inviting YOU to participate as we seek to be the heart and hands of Jesus across metro Richmond.
Come to St. James and worship with us on Tuesday, June 27 at 7:00 PM. Rev. Shirley will lead us in the St. James sanctuary. NO NEED TO SIGN UP, JUST JOIN US.

Serve with us at Shalom Farms on Wednesday, June 28.  This is a great opportunity for people of all ages! You can choose from two shifts: 9:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00-4:00 PM. You are more than welcome to come early/stay late and bring a bagged lunch to join the youth mission team for lunch. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.

Help provide food by providing donations. We are growing people. We eat a lot! If you are able, please consider donating some food items. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mid High Mission Trip Announcement

Our "home" for the week: St. James Episcopal

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”  Jeremiah 29:7

This summer, our mid-high students will Be The Church by serving as the hand and feet of Jesus in our local community.  Our home for the week will be St. James Episcopal Church in Downtown Richmond.  Throughout the week, students will be working with local mission partners in the greater Richmond Metropolitan area and immersing themselves in various service and educational opportunities.  There will also be plenty of worship and fun!  Sign ups for students will be available on CCE on-line beginning February 1.  We will also have various opportunities for members of the congregation to participate, stay tuned for more details of how you can help us Be The Church this summer.