-by David Schleck
Dozens of volunteers descended on Bayside Sixth Grade Campus one day this summer to spruce up the school for the arrival of students and teachers.
Wearing red “Serve Day” T-shirts, children and adults mulched the gardens, power-washed the picnic tables and filled backpacks with school supplies for each of Bayside’s 350 sixth-graders.
“If they didn’t come to help, it would have been just admin and the office staff doing all this,” said Principal Shampriest Bevel, smiling at all the volunteers in the school cafeteria who were packing pens, notebooks and other supplies.
Wavy City Care is a locally based nonprofit that sent about 500 volunteers to help schools and charities in Virginia and North Carolina on Aug. 21.
“Every time I look up, there’s more people,” Bevel said. “I love it!”
Wave City Care gets its named from Wave Church, the nonprofit’s largest supporter. Volunteer Julianna Brostrom said outreach is an important part of her faith.
“I think it’s cool we’re not just inside the church,” Brostrom said while assembling back-to-school binders with Mikayla Masteller. “It’s good for a church to be out in the community.”
Literacy teacher Kenya Smith was thrilled to have volunteers help her set up her classroom, and volunteer Jenny Rowan was more than happy to help.
“I’m so honored to be here,” Rowan said. “I have four kids in the school system, and I know how hard teachers work. It’s nice to be able to give something back.”
Outside the building, volunteers were busy trimming bushes and cleaning outdoor equipment to make everything look nice for returning students.
“With the kids coming back soon, it’s great that we can help get things clean and sanitized,” said Wave City Care Vice President James Shupert. Businesses joined in the effort: Nature’s Edge provided landscaping while Squared Away Cleaning and KD’s Pressure Washing provided equipment and manpower. Many of the volunteers were parents who brought their children along – and vice-versa.
“It’s a family thing,” Shupert said.
Bevel said the team’s generous spirit really helped her kick off the school year on a positive note.
“For them to say, ‘Whatever you need, we’ll be there’ – it’s just been a big gift,” she said.