Community . . . it’s one of the four core values of Oak Hill Academy:
community, responsibility, transformation, and moral courage.
Our students strive to live these traits on a daily basis, and that means serving as active and gracious members of our local community. Community service is not something to study in a textbook—it is the ultimate form of hands-on learning. And while it is something that can be modeled, it also requires active participation to be truly effective.
At Oak Hill, students participate in real-life opportunities to serve. Our leadership program helps with the implementation of service opportunities through a variety of volunteer sign-up options for students, from serving as reading buddies for local elementary school children to visiting elderly residents in need of cheer. During their time engaging with the community, students make personal connections, nurture friendships, and build empathy.
Even in rural Virginia, you don’t have to look far to find ways to serve. This year, our students are helping provide food to those in need—a service opportunity that ties into our theme of #WarriorWellness.
Mr. Aaron Butt, Director of Student Affairs, is leading this initiative through collaboration with a local food pantry called “Food Independence.” Based right here in Grayson County, Food Independence distributes food through a drive-thru pickup each month, delivers food to an apartment complex in Independence, and also provides a local pick-up site.
In groups of 6-8 participants, Oak Hill students volunteer two or three times every month, chipping in in a variety of ways. Students have been especially helpful at the distribution center, and the staff tremendously appreciate their cheerfulness as they have done the preliminary work of unpacking and sorting food deliveries. This alleviates the backlog of shipments and lightens the load for the organization, expediting the process of getting food from trucks to tables.
Box by box, item by item, Oak Hill students are learning that they can indeed make a difference.