By SARAH TUCKER
Next summer, high schoolers from St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church will go on a mission trip somewhere in central Appalachia to volunteer with the Appalachia Service Project, an organization that provides groups the opportunity to volunteer in low-income or disaster stricken communities.
Laurie Pancoast, a volunteer youth leader, has been helping set up service and fundraising opportunities for the church youth who want to go. Currently, the students are raking leaves.
“They’ve raked maybe half a dozen, maybe eight yards,” Pancoast said. “It’s just one of the many things we’ll be doing to raise money.”
The youth leaders are also considering other fundraising and service opportunities, such as babysitting for church members and car washes.
“One of the things we’re thinking about doing is babysitting for church members — kind of like a mom’s night out,” Pancoast said. “Last year, for another trip, we washed all the cars in the church parking lot.”
Pancoast said they don’t expect money for some of their service, and that’s OK.
“It’s more important for us to instill in people a sense of service,” Pancoast said. “I think the greater lesson is that you give without any expectation of return.”
Gregory Holliday, another volunteer with the youth group, agrees.
“The thing that’s more important than the amount of money is these kids really want to contribute to the community,” Holliday said.
Regardless of whether they raise enough money, every interested high schooler will be allowed to go.
“No one in our high school group will not be able to go because of money,” Pancoast said. “One way or another, we’re going to get there.”