HCA students serve community
Haywood Christian Academy high school students gave 350 hours in community service in a one-day event called “Engage.” The annual event has historically been a student retreat involving outdoor recreation, but this year’s coordinator, Bobby Brooks, had a different vision.
“The school has placed an emphasis on serving others, especially in our own community, "Brooks said. "So I thought we could make this day special for others as much as ourselves."
The students were grouped in teams at six locations around the county. The nonprofit organizations that benefited included Bethel Village, STAR Ranch, Haywood Christian Ministries, Waynesville Police Department and Haywood County Sheriff’s Department. HCA staff partnered with agencies to find needs they could supply. At Bethel Village, teams painted siding to be installed on new affordable housing units. Students assigned to STAR Ranch stained fence around the property that helps rehabilitate abused animals.
“It didn’t feel like work because we were together making it fun,” said tenth grader Cassie Jones, who put in a full day’s work at the ranch.
One team of students made care packages for the Waynesville police officers.
"We really enjoyed having the students from HCA come by the Police Department and spend some time with us,” said Chief Bill Hollingshed. “As the officers arrived for their shifts, they received the individual care package that the kids left for each one. We really appreciate the students from HCA thinking about our officers and coming by the station."