Over 300 middle and high school students, along with their small group leaders, spread across the city on March 25th to make a difference during IMPACT 2017 Weekend. Rather than heading to Mayfaire, watching a movie or relaxing on the beach, these students sacrificed their weekend to give back to their community by working with local non-profit organizations.
Students partnered with Meals on Wheels, The Salvation Army, A Bike for Every Child, The Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, The Miracle League, two nursing homes and two individual home projects. Through serving, the power of God’s love spread to the community and students had the opportunity to make an impact on the lives of others.
On top of serving in the community on Saturday, there were sessions held at Port City over the weekend that helped frame the importance of being part of something bigger than yourself. Friday night, Chris Sasser, PC3’s Pastor of Family Ministries, spoke on the importance of allowing God to write your story.
Saturday evening, students, leaders and parents gathered together to worship and hear a message from Pastor Mike Ashcraft. The heart behind his message was carrying an attitude of service into your family and daily life.
Volunteering in the community paired with these sessions helped create a spark for meaningful conversations to take place. Students explored the importance of impact and how they have the power to influence and serve others. This idea has always been a topic of discussion in student ministries, but was made applicable through Impact 2017 Weekend.
While impacting others in the community, serving also had an impact on the students. 6th grader Maxwell Lewis said, “Serving affected how I see the world and how lucky I am to be able to serve.” For many students, it was their first time giving back to their community. Adam Carr, a 6th grader working at the food bank, said, “We were giving food to others and I had never done anything like that before.”
Maggie Flores and Katie Geschickter visited the Pender Memorial Hospital Nursing Home. Although a small and simple task, they saw a huge impact. Both worked with people and directly saw the effect of the impact they were making. Maggie said, “One lady told us we were such a blessing to her by helping her be happy and it was so awesome! I connected with others through connecting in our small group and with the community.”
By going to the nursing home, Maggie and Katie showed the patients how young students were willing to serve. Katie says, “They don’t get to see that impact very often. We got to see an impact as well by being able to witness how happy people were while serving.”
Lucy Ridd, a 7th grader serving at the food bank said “I really like that we are going out into the community and making a difference. It’s a really cool opportunity for us middle schoolers to do on a weekend.” At the end of the weekend, 30,000 pounds of food was sorted for the food bank.
By serving, students were not only able to make an impact, but were also able to be impacted by the change they were creating in their community.
Story Written By: Maggie Brown