Last Friday, April 28th, 2017, our Beta Club along with other student volunteers assisted at the Special Olympics Games at Albemarle High School in Stanley County. This event is one of the annual service projects in which our Beta Club participates to exemplify the service aspect of the Beta Club mantra, “Faith, Service, and Leadership.” The Special Olympics event is an opportunity for students to learn about being the hands and feet of Christ. When Christ walked on this earth, He ministered to those with physical disabilities and healed them. The heart of Father God longs to reach those in need; He loves them with His everlasting love,and as Christians we are called to walk in love as Christ did. Volunteering at the Special Olympics teaches students the value of Christian service.Students who participated in the event felt it was a great experience. Thinking about the day, Sorely Sandoval of the 8th grade indicated what she enjoyed most was being able “ to serve others rather than ourselves, just as the LORD calls us to do.” Ninth grader Harrison Chance commented on the day’s opportunity saying, “Not everyone is the same with respect to abilities and talents, yet we are equal in value in the eyes of God and should be treated as such. I am glad I got to go help and have fun.” Fellow ninth grader Ryan Williams participated in the Special Olympics for the first time this year. Ryan recalls the events saying, “ I learned a lot. I should be thankful for what I can do. Others are not as fortunate.” Across the board students realized what a service opportunity the day was. Gracie Mullis, sixth grader and one of our youngest volunteers, said, “It was really fun meeting new kids and helping give them happiness and joy. It felt good to help the community.” Veteran volunteer Logan Miller cites his reasons for going to the Special Olympics: “This is my fourth year in a row going to the Special Olympics. It is a great way to help those who are less fortunate. It’s a way for us to use our blessing of good health to bless those without. And we are outside and not in school all day, and that’s pretty nice too.”
The Special Olympics event helps gives students a new perspective on service and ministry that day-to-day school routines do not. Hailey Brinkley recognizes the influence serving had on her: “I think the Special Olympics has been a good influence on me by allowing me to help people who have been through trials. It was a blessing to be able to help out.” As is often the case of ministry, those going to bless others receive a blessing themselves. Kaitlyn Campbell recounts her favorite part of the day: “My favorite part of the Special Olympics was that I was able to help someone have a great day. My athlete and I won second place in the race. That was the happiest I saw him all day. I also had the opportunity to hand out ribbons to the winners of the race. They were proud of themselves and that made me feel happy.” Students and Athletes alike had a wonderful time at this worthwhile event.