Archive | December, 2018

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WHS students working in the Valley Mission kitchen. Photo by A. Jones

GIANTS help locals in need at Valley Mission

By Avery Paiste

WHS students preparing to serve food in the Valley Mission kitchen. Photo by A. Jones

WHS students preparing to serve food in the Valley Mission kitchen. Photo by A. Jones

On Tuesday, November 20th, Mr Jones’ first and second blocks headed to the Valley Mission to prepare a Mexican feast. The Mission, located in Staunton, provides three meals every day to those in need. In addition to meals, the Mission provides many other resources such as sleeping arrangements, after school care, and job resources.

The trip followed months of preparation by students in both classes. In addition to the efforts of the students, some of the High School’s other students and faculty were generous enough to donate food. Students arrived at the mission with more food than they planned to cook and were able to donate that food to go towards later meals.

WHS students working in the Valley Mission kitchen. Photo by A. Jones

WHS students working in the Valley Mission kitchen. Photo by A. Jones

At the Mission, students got right to work cooking the meal and completing chores around the building, including organizing stored food. In the time at the mission, carts with food of all sorts essentially never stopped coming in. This proved the generosity of the Staunton community, and the effectiveness of a place like the Valley Mission. With all the incoming donations, students arranged Thanksgiving boxes with the food at hand.

Around noon guests arrived and, after a prayer, hopped in line to get their tray of food. The setup was very similar to that of the Waynesboro High School’s cafeteria with a line of hot foods and a large open room with foldable tables and chairs. Serving the meal took 30-45 minutes, and then students were allowed to enjoy the meal themselves, which consisted of beef tacos, a seasoned rice dish, and classic refried beans.

WHS students working in the Valley Mission kitchen. Photo by A. Jones

WHS students working in the Valley Mission kitchen. Photo by A. Jones

After dining came the clean up. The dining hall was cleaned up with great care. Groups split up to wash dishes, sweep and mop the floor, clean the tables, and store unused food. Then, students took a short tour to see other parts of the building before returning to school.

This trip brought a new perspective to some students on the trip including myself. It is valuable to see all paths of life, and this is a path that some often fail to see or consider. I can say with confidence, though, that the experience created a palpable joy to all parties involved. Volunteer work can seem pointless if those doing the work fail to see its positive effects. This work let students see how helpful their service was almost immediately, making it far more enjoyable and powerful.

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