Lake Center Christian Students Raise $3,750 to Pack, Send Meals to Ukraine

LCCS 9-12th graders serve Christ, bless others abroad and locally

By: Emily Chesnic, Campus Communications & Volunteer Coordinator

HARTVILLE – Lake Center Christian School’s (LCCS) high school students palpably provided aid to those impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

On Monday, March 28 from 9-11 a.m. secondary students of LCCS came together on campus to serve Christ and packed more than 12,000 shelf-stable, nutritious meal kits being distributed through Lifeline Christian Missions –  a nonprofit organization that launches ministry initiatives – to Ukrainians, including those seeking refuge in neighboring European countries.

“The students looked forward to coming back after spring break to bless others. They desired to share the love of Jesus by serving so that the needs of people in Ukraine and Hartville could be met,” said LCCS Math Teacher Mrs. Kelly Stirewalt.

“As we connected with Lifeline, we found that they were pursuing opportunities to meet the needs in Ukraine, in addition to having a portion of the food staying in the local community,” she explained.

Mrs. Crystal Maarschalk, Lake Center’s Secondary Principal, challenged the 150 students in 9-12th grades, on March 9, to raise $2,000 by March 19 to provide meals to those in need due to the war in Ukraine and those facing hunger at home in the Hartville community.

“What an incredible week it was watching the high school do a quick one-week fundraiser with a big goal to help pack and send meals to people both around our local community and in Ukraine,” Lake Center Senior High School teacher Mr. Sean Miller said.

“Not only did the students reach the goal, but far surpassed it, raising $3,750,” he continued. “It has been a blessing to watch the students rally to this cause and see them experience a tangible way of being the hands and feet for Jesus.”

Mr. Miller helped organize the service project alongside Mrs. Stirewalt and LCCS Senior High Spanish Teacher Mr. Michael Wallace as part of Lake Center Christian School’s mini-term week. 

Mrs. Stirewalt said mini-term provides unique learning and service opportunities for students outside of a classroom setting. 

“Mini-term focuses on Lake Center’s core values [service to Christ, Christian character, diversity, academic excellence, and Biblical worldview] and includes small group connections with teachers,” she explained. “During the mini-term, students learned about local outreach ministries, including Love Our Community and Camp Carl, in addition to serving through the meal packaging.”

When he was a 9th grader at LCCS,  Mr. Miller participated in the school’s first min-term. 

“Mini-term has been around since the beginning of the high school in the 2003-04 school year, which started with just a freshman class. I was a student in that class and remember three choices that year. Mini term has really grown and changed a lot over the years but has always remained a memorable and unique week for the high school,” he said. 

Lake Center Christian’s mini-term 2022 kicked off Monday, March 28, known at the school as “Service Day.” The day included preparing and packaging the meal kits. The activity allowed numerous students to help simultaneously, as they could each have a part of packing the bags, which included food for six meals, said Mrs. Stirewalt. 

“Service Day” wrapped up March 28 with a closing celebration from 2:00-2:30 p.m. on the east lawn of the LCCS campus, when some incentives were fulfilled, she said. 

“As some fun incentives for the students to raise the money, teachers offered to do some crazy things, such as have their head shaved, perform an Irish dance, and be slimed before the student body,” Mrs. Stirewalt said. “Throughout the week, and for weeks to follow, teachers will be fulfilling their offers at random times to thank the students for their determination to go above and beyond the $2,000 goal.”

Also during mini-term week, the students took part in a spiritual emphasis conference on Tuesday, March 29, with the focus on Christ and spiritual well being, said Mrs. Maarschalk.

LCCS students spent time Wednesday through Friday, March 30 to April 1, during mini-term week, participating in a career exploration workshop or overnight trip to Camp Carl, a Christian camp ministry in Ravenna.

In photo: LCCS Senior Alexander Joseph seals a meal kit bound for Ukraine.

In photo: LCCS Seniors (from left) Sophia Sommers, Hayley Hulse, and Madison Osborne prepare meal kits.

In photo: LCCS Seniors Ben Carlson and Medgine Wojton measure out rice included in meal kits to aid those in the Ukraine impacted by war.

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