Jubilee Reach Service Day
Before having children and staying home with them, I was an elementary school teacher in the Bellevue School District. In my classroom of 26 kids I had over 10 languages spoken, and in my school, 82 percent of the children were on free or reduced lunch. This meant their families had qualified for financial support because of living on a low income. When I had parent-teacher conferences, I considered it a success if even a quarter of the parents were able to make it for a myriad of reasons. Technically the school had a PTSA, but their money went toward putting on one (amazing) event to celebrate the many cultures in the school. After this event, the funds were pretty much gone. As teachers, we knew we were appreciated, but that didn’t mean we got a lot of support.
And that’s where the Jubilee Reach Service Day came in. My second year as a teacher was the second year that Jubilee Reach had a day in which to serve schools in the Bellevue School District, and it was the first time at my school. That first year we didn’t even know what help we could ask for. But very quickly, we were overwhelmed by the care and the willingness to do ANYTHING that would help us teachers feel ready for the first day of school. I had volunteers setting up my whole classroom (including some IT support), decorating bulletin boards, cleaning my windows, and much more. Our school had bark laid, walls painted, and floors pressure washed.
It wasn’t just the help we received that was memorable, it was also the attitudes of all the people who came. There were matching bandanas and snacks and upbeat music. There was excitement and community and energy and care. My fellow teachers and I just kept looking at each other and asking, “Can this really be happening?” We felt noticed and supported. When these same people said that they were praying for us, we believed them. It was such a gift to know that there were other people in the community who cared enough about kids that they would give up a day of their summer to help the schools and teachers.
This year, Redeemer Church has the opportunity to participate in the Jubilee Reach Service Day by serving the Big Picture School in Bellevue right across the street from our church. The Big Picture School teachers need our help and support, and to know that the community around them is on their side. This is a way that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to the people right near our church. This is a day in which our actions and attitudes can display the beauty of the gospel we hear preached every Sunday.
Please go to https://www.jubileereach.org/serviceday/register/schools. Enter Redeemer Church as your church affiliation, and select “Big Picture Middle/High” as the school. You’ll then have a chance to choose what sort of a job you want to do while there. I’m so thankful Redeemer Church will be a part of blessing teachers and schools the way I was blessed years ago. I hope many of the people of our church will participate, and take this opportunity to “seek the welfare of the place where [God] has sent us” (Jeremiah 29:7).