THOMASVILLE - Members of the Brookwood School chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes spent the first weekend in March on a Mission Marathon, working on service projects in three area communities.
After raising $500 for the Second Harvest Food Bank, about 30 FCA students put together a Manna Food Drop in Meigs, Ga., packing boxes with fresh vegetables, meat, fruit and other perishable and nonperishable items.
"We raised the funds with a father-daughter dance, bake sales and other projects on campus," explained Laura Courtney, the FCA president.
"We fed 150 families, which included 396 people," said the FCA staff sponsor Amy Stalvey. "Following that, we helped clean the local recreational facility in Meigs."
That afternoon, one group of students refurbished the Pavo city basketball court and softball field.
Another group planted flowers and pressure washed the home of a woman in Thomasville.
"She said she felt blessed to have us there, and we felt so good about the work we were doing for her," said Emily Miller, the FCA secretary. "She loves plants and flowers, but couldn't plant them herself."
Students in the third group staged a bingo game at the Belvedere Commons Nursing Home and then cleaned the home of another Thomasville woman.
"Because of a medical condition, she couldn't manage cleaning her house, and she really appreciated our help," said Alex Walter, the FCA treasurer.
On Sunday, the students painted the inside and outside of the home of a local couple, cleaned the roof, raked the yard, trimmed hedges, dug up bushes and shoveled mulch.
The students stayed at Myrtlewood Plantation, where they gathered for fellowships.
"Our Bible verse for the weekend was, 'Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity,' from 1 Timothy 4:12," Stalvey explained.
On Friday before the Mission Marathon weekend, all Brookwood students heard presentations by speakers hosted by the FCA.
"Anthony and Jennifer Beckham, motivational speakers from the Power Unlimited team, delivered a powerful message about developing character and making right choices," Stalvey said. "That was a great start to our weekend of service projects."
Previously, the FCA members had enjoyed a long weekend at Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., where they shared devotionals, played on the beach and went shopping.
They all participated in a visit to the Ft. Walton Children in Crisis Home.
"It was so rewarding to see the smiles on all the kids' faces," said Grace Allen, the vice president of Brookwood's FCA. "We played kickball and other games with them on the playground and inside the home and provided pizza and popcorn for a movie night together."
"It is the nicest foster facility I have ever seen," Stalvey said. "The children, ranging in age from 6 to 18, bonded with all of the Brookwood students."
The leadership team of the FCA chapter plans weekly devotionals at Brookwood.
"Our goal is living out what we say we believe in and focusing on doing what we say we'll do," said Grace Allen.
At the Manna Food Drop in Meigs, Alex Walter, Brookwood Coach Chris Seay, Rebecca Unglaub and Carter Reed stack the food boxes packed by FCA members.
Taylor Bragg, a Brookwood junior, paints the ceiling of a carport at a Thomasville house.
A large group of Brookwood FCA members gather on the playground of the Ft. Walton Children in Crisis Home.